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Could BA innovate themselves out of the Lockdown

Could BA innovate themselves out of the Lockdown

Old Apr 13, 20, 1:54 pm
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Could BA innovate themselves out of the Lockdown

There has been much talk of the lack of exit strategy.from the COVID 19 pandemic.

BA like many airlines is largely grounded.

As we start to see the gentle lifting of lockdowns around Europe over the next month we are still going to be restricted by the lack of vaccine and probably not allowed to travel.

If BA want to be ahead of the game would it worth them investing in some of the quick turn around testing kits ? They could guarantee their passengers are COVID free by testing them 6 hrs before flying and certificate passengers for travelling worldwide

Would this be commercially viable would recipient nations buy in? Could it be a ONE WORLD project?

It would be the equivalent of nationwide testing at Ďairlineí level
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Old Apr 13, 20, 1:58 pm
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Unfortunately unless the testing kits were 100% accurate, there's no way that BA would open themselves up to any liability for guaranteeing that passengers are in essentially a COVID-19 free enviornment, let alone how governments may choose to treat any such certification.
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Old Apr 13, 20, 2:00 pm
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I like the thrust of the idea, but a few challenges:
- Who will administer the test? I assume a third or so of traffic originates at outstations, many of which have outsourced check-in - so beyond the fact these people are not medics, how will the testing be applied in a controlled manner?
- Who wants to travel to the airport to get an intrusive test done, with a not unsizeable chance they fail it?
- Governments have not been behaving fully rationally in this crisis - what's the chance that they change that now?
- And most importantly... if some half-wits at BA really sat and decided that it was biscuits but no pretzels for Band 2 CE, do you really think they're about to pay for COVID testing kits?
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Old Apr 13, 20, 2:11 pm
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Originally Posted by allturnleft View Post
restricted by the lack of vaccine
The average vaccine takes 10-15 years to develop and test for effectivity, reactions and long term affects. Are you willing to use one after a 10th or less of that testing time?

Perhaps quick testing will be the way to go but right now the testing either isnít sophisticated enough or the virus is undetectable for a period of time, lots coming back inconclusive. If itís undetectable when you fly that doesnít mean you donít develop symptoms by the time or after you land and test positive. Also wouldnít testing be better carried out by the airport operator at the flyers cost?

Theres also a lack of medical evidence to support the hypothesis that having had it makes you 1) immune and/or 2) not infectious while your body fights the virus. But we would need good quick antibody testing for that in order to find out if you even have any immunity.

If catching it does give you future immunity then you have populations with some level of community immunity and others with none so perhaps some will close to tourism for a number of years or they will accept that SARS2 becomes like any other infectious virus and you have yearly epidemics to manage like the flu, meningitis etc

I wouldnít want to be a senior health/epidemiology advisor in any country right now as the scrutiny and decisions making will be immense. But looking at it all from the outside itís extremely interesting what happens next.
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Last edited by TGLoyalty; Apr 13, 20 at 2:20 pm
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Old Apr 13, 20, 2:19 pm
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No-starter in my opinion. It is an airline not a biomedical business.
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Old Apr 13, 20, 2:45 pm
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So you get on the plane at LHR testing clear, you fly to your destination, spend 24 hours there and return to the airport for the return flight and test positive, so are not allowed into the "clean" environment around the BA gate. What happens? Do you get EU 261 for denied boarding? Who is responsible for any costs that occur until you are in a position to test clean?
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Old Apr 13, 20, 2:56 pm
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It would not be a guarantee but risk management

It would be a lot better than taking temperatures

They are doing a similar thing with cancer cases farmed out to the private sector at the moment All patients are being pre screened prior to surgery to reduce risk
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Old Apr 13, 20, 3:08 pm
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Well, I'd hope BA are thinking about this. On the one hand clearly they'll have to implement any regulatory requirements at both ends of future routes (or not fly). On the other, there may well be some commercial opportunity presents itself. Theoretical seating may get advertised a bit more overtly. Maybe they'll hand out free face masks and request all passengers use them. They could reduce on board passenger movement. They should have free screening for all crew and check-in staff.
To take it steps further, is there a way the BA App could interact with contact tracing to "screen all passengers until boarding"?
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Old Apr 13, 20, 3:16 pm
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Seems far-fetched but so does reality right now, so I wouldn’t bet against anything!
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Old Apr 13, 20, 3:17 pm
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Originally Posted by allturnleft View Post
There has been much talk of the lack of exit strategy.from the COVID 19 pandemic.
I will possibly move this to a non-BA topic (apologies) but I genuinely dislike this rhetoric (not you personally by the way, itís a great question)

But itís as if thereís a manual that we should be following. Media have started this exit talk but in reality we have only just entered this pandemic here in the UK. Itís only 3 weeks of lockdown. France are in lockdown until early May.

We have No peak as such (yet or not). Whilst I appreciate there should be a process around what needs to be done and achieved, to think beyond 7-14 days is a stretch.

There are no play books, instructions or correct strategies here. It has been frustrating witnessing the constant...Ētheyíve done this and itís working, why are we not doing that?Ē ...ĒThey have X amount, we have YĒ They are easing lockdowns when are we?!

Comparing is human nature, I appreciate that and sometimes there are positives/benefits in doing so. Itís good learn from each other. But itís also fundamentally important to address your own concerns, environment, subjects and challenges.

The government has stuck by its strategy of doing whatís necessary based on the expert evidence at the necessary times.

China is now stirring in the media with regards to a second wave.

Sweden are admitting in certain media articles that maybe they have got their strategy wrong.

As Iím suggesting there is no right or wrong, you base it on the evidence within your own boundaries and intervene as required coupled with the expert advice.

In the last 48 hours Bill Gates has said we are in unchartered territory.

As for BA, they could be doing a LOT more but I think it always relates to how much will this cost? Or am I unfair?

Thatís regardless of the press coverage and what it might do long term. Itís obvious (to me) BA thinks short term and cost focused. Sadly because I wish they didnít. I really wish they capitalised on this opportunity and think of the greater good. Long term it could serve them well.
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Old Apr 13, 20, 3:22 pm
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Let me expand on my answer a little...

Flying is not the same as having cancer surgery, where screening is being combined with isolation and procedures strictly performed on the basis of benefit and real significant risk and although screening does reduce the risk, it certainly doesnít eliminate it. I have grave concerns that such a suggestion would unduly reassure passengers and would result in greater spread on the disease.

Contact tracing apps donít work prospectively; they work retrospectively; anyone who is positive should be isolating so people donít come into contact with theme. What the contact tracing apps do this far, including the one in development by NHS X is to allow for easier contact tracing after someone is shown to be positive- this could be anything up to 2 weeks later (depending on what paper you read the media is around 4 days and mean around 5.1 days, but 25% take longer than a week).

As has been discussed in the Number 10 press briefings, restrictions to travel donít significantly effect the R value of the spread on modelling and I donít see spending millions on tests, Whig wouldnít have effective specificity and sensitivity in the use that you suggest, would providing a significant litigation risk to the airline and would likely result in increased cases due to reduction in compliance to the known effective measures.

Undrrdtanding that the suggestion was of course well meaning, but I think this would be a sure way to end any airline IMHO.

As for the talk of lack of Ďexit strategyí, Iím certain that the modelling for exit is ongoing, and this work continues as more data is gathered, particularly as other counties withdrawn elements of their lockdown, but the Gov rightly, in my opinion, doesnít want to provide a confusing public health message at present. If you look at the reports by the Covid-19 research group at Imperial, you can see clear evidence of this.
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Last edited by navylad; Apr 13, 20 at 3:50 pm
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Old Apr 13, 20, 3:41 pm
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I really don't see how this would help, even if BA funded it. People are going to be afraid to travel for some time, and it will take awhile for confidence to return. A clean bill of health at departure doesn't bring much assurance if you're still concerned about being infected at destination.
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Old Apr 13, 20, 3:58 pm
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All pathogen tests have a Lower Limit Of Quantification (LLOQ). You could test Ďnegativeí in the early stages of infection and still be capable of passing the virus to others. Hence this concept doesnít work.

Youíd be better placed to test people for antibodies to SARS-CoV2, but negative for active virus. That would prove you had the virus, but were now clear. However, that will only be a minority of people.
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Old Apr 13, 20, 4:13 pm
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BA can offer complimentary add-on enhanced COVID-19 insurance coverage for everyone taking their flights.
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Old Apr 13, 20, 6:11 pm
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free food in Y on European flights might also be an innovation...
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