British Airways expands the use of VeriFLY, the digital travel health app

British Airways has announced it intends to increase its trial of the VeriFLY digital health app across all its international flights operating into the UK.

The expansion, which comes in to effect from 15 February, is designed to help those eligible to travel to ‘navigate the changing entry requirements and facilitate a seamless journey’ by ensuring customers are ready to fly and have the appropriate documentation in place, before departing for the airport.

The use of the mobile travel health app is optional, and will not be a mandatory requirement.

The trial is part of the airline’s ongoing work to explore digital health travel wallet and document verification solutions which help customers and support the government in ensuring conformance with the UK’s entry requirements.

The news also comes as IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac reaffirmed that it was working closely with IAG, British Airways’ parent company, on its IATA Travel Pass app which is being developed to launch in the coming weeks.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ CEO said:

We know that digital health apps and wallets will likely become commonplace when travel opens up again. We are exploring every available solution to support eligible customers and the UK government both during this period of limited travel and in preparation for a time when restrictions are eased, when we hope many more people will be able to resume flying again.

VeriFLY, which can be downloaded to a mobile device, is designed to offer peace of mind before travel by checking customers meet the entry requirements of their destination by providing digital health document verification and confirming eligibility.

Use of the VeriFLY app will be optional and customers will also continue to be able to show they meet a country’s entry requirements at check-in.

The app has been pioneered by private software company, Daon, which also works with some of the world’s leading banking and credit card companies. The software will allow people to combine travel verification documents and Covid-19 test results in one place, ensuring travellers are fully compliant with the entry requirements for their destination before leaving home.

Certified customers will be fast-tracked through the airport where specially designated desks will be available for check in.

British Airways had previously announced it would be the first UK airline to start trialling VeriFLY and customers have been invited to have the option of using it since 4 February on all flights from London to the US. Since then, the trial has been extended to offer customers on inbound flights to the UK from the US the option to use it.

American Airlines, British Airways’ joint business and oneworld partner, offers customers the opportunity to use VeriFLY when they are travelling to the US from all international destinations. British Airways is simultaneously conducting a testing trial with American Airlines and oneworld on some routes from the US to the UK. The results of the trial will be shared with Oxford University, the trial’s academic partner, and with governments on both sides of the Atlantic.

United Airlines backs Archer Aviation

United Airlines has announced an agreement to work with air mobility company Archer to invest in emerging technologies that decarbonise air travel.

Archer’s electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft are designed to use electric motors and have the potential for future use as ‘air taxis’ in urban markets.

Under the terms of the agreement, United will contribute its expertise in airspace management to assist Archer with the development of battery-powered, short-haul aircraft.

United, together with Mesa Airlines, will acquire a fleet of up to 200 Archer eVTOL aircraft that would be operated by a partner and are expected to give passengers a quick, economical and low-carbon way to get to United’s hub airports and commute in dense urban environments ‘within the next five years’.

United was an early stage investor in Fulcrum BioEnergy and recently partnered with 1PointFive, a joint venture between Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and Rusheen Capital, to jumpstart the establishment of direct air capture and sequestration technology.

United CEO Scott Kirby said,

By working with Archer, United is showing the aviation industry that now is the time to embrace cleaner, more efficient modes of transportation. With the right technology, we can curb the impact aircraft have on the planet, but we have to identify the next generation of companies who will make this a reality early and find ways to help them get off the ground.

Archer’s eVTOL design, manufacturing model and engineering expertise has the clear potential to change how people commute within major metropolitan cities all over the world.

With today’s technology, Archer’s aircraft are designed to travel distances of up to 60 miles at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour and future models will be designed to travel further and faster.

Archer’s aircraft are capable of saving individuals time on their commute – United estimates that using Archer’s eVTOL aircraft could reduce CO2 emissions by 47% per passenger on a trip between Hollywood and Los Angeles International Airport, one of the initial cities where Archer plans to launch its fleet.

Led by co-founders and co-CEOs Brett Adcock (left) and Adam Goldstein (right), Archer’s mission is to advance the benefits of sustainable air mobility at scale.

Archer plans to unveil its full scale eVTOL aircraft in 2021, begin aircraft production in 2023, and launch consumer flights in 2024. To drive this fourth transportation revolution and transform how people approach everyday life, work and adventure, Archer has built a highly accomplished team of top engineering and design talent, with a collective 200+ years of eVTOL experience.

Brett Adcock, co-CEO and co-Founder of Archer said,

We couldn’t be happier to be working with an established global player like United. This deal represents so much more than just a commercial agreement for our aircraft, but rather the start of a relationship that we believe will accelerate our timeline to market as a result of United’s strategic guidance around FAA certification, operations and maintenance.

Adam Goldstein, co-CEO and co-Founder of Archer said,

The team at United share our vision of a more sustainable future. We’re working closely with their test pilots and environmental teams to make sustainable urban air mobility a reality far sooner than people could ever imagine.

Etihad Airways is the first airline in the world with 100% of crew on board vaccinated

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has become the first airline in the world with all its operating pilots and cabin crew vaccinated to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

The airline’s vaccination initiative has consolidated Etihad’s position as an industry leader in its response to the pandemic and in keeping its employees and travellers safe.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said:

We proactively made the vaccine available to all our employees not only to help combat the effects of Covid-19 but to make travellers feel confident and reassured the next time they fly with us. We are the only airline in the world to make Covid-19 testing mandatory for every passenger and crew member before every flight and now, we’re the first airline in the world with 100% vaccinated crew on board.

I chose very early on to be vaccinated to demonstrate my own support of the national vaccination programme and to encourage everyone at Etihad who was eligible for the vaccine, to receive it as soon as possible. I would like to thank the entire Etihad family for everything they have done to help us reach this milestone – I am truly humbled.

Tony Douglas received his first dose of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine at Etihad Airways Medical Centre on 4 January.

The universal vaccination was made possible through Etihad’s ‘Protected Together’ employee vaccination initiative which was formally launched in January. Building on the UAE’s Choose to Vaccinate campaign, Protected Together is about helping staff take proactive, personal steps towards protecting themselves against Covid-19.

In collaboration with the health authorities, the airline facilitated access for its frontline staff to the UAE’s Emergency Use Programme. Etihad was one of the first employers in Abu Dhabi to secure places for their frontline staff – including pilots and cabin crew – in the capital’s vaccination programme.

Dr. Nadia Bastaki, Vice President Medical Services and CSR, Etihad Aviation Group, said:

Following the national vaccination programme, we worked tirelessly to become an approved Covid-19 vaccination clinic to support our staff, and their dependants, be able to easily access the vaccine. Since December, we have been offering in-house vaccination appointments to our employees and their loved ones to ensure we are focused on our employee’s wellbeing.

Following the UAE Government’s target to vaccinate half of the UAE population by the end of March 2021, Etihad is ahead of schedule with over 75% of its entire workforce already having received at least one dose of the vaccine. With even more activity still planned as part of the Protected Together initiative, this figure will continue to grow as more employees step forward and choose to vaccinate.

In an effort to protect residents and citizens of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad thanks the relevant authorities for their support in making the vaccine accessible to achieve nationwide immunity.

British Airways increases investment in sustainable aviation

British Airways is to power future flights with sustainable aviation fuel produced from sustainably-sourced ethanol, as part of a new partnership with sustainable jet fuel company LanzaJet.

The partnership will see British Airways invest in LanzaJet’s first commercial-scale Freedom Pines Fuels facility in Georgia, USA and acquire cleaner burning sustainable aviation fuel from the plant. It expects the fuel to be available to power a number of its flights by the end of 2022. In addition, the partnership will involve LanzaJet implementing early stage planning and design for a potential commercial facility for British Airways in the UK.

The plant in Georgia is due to begin construction this year. It will convert sustainable ethanol – a chemical compound widely blended with petrol to reduce its carbon intensity – into sustainable aviation fuel using a patented chemical process.

The fuel produced at the plant will deliver a reduction of more than 70% in greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fossil jet fuel, equivalent to taking almost 27,000 petrol or diesel cars off the road each year.

The sustainable aviation fuel produced by LanzaJet is made via the LanzaJet™ Alcohol to Jet (AtJ) Process, which can use any source of sustainable ethanol, including, but not limited to, ethanol made from non-edible agricultural residues such as wheat straw and recycled pollution. Commercialisation of AtJ has been years in the making, starting with the partnership between LanzaTech (which launched LanzaJet in June 2020) and the U.S Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

The development and use of sustainable aviation fuels is a major focus for British Airways and forms part of the airline’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 through a series of short, medium and long-term initiatives. The airline has an existing partnership with sustainable fuels technology company Velocys, with the goal of building a facility to convert household and commercial waste into renewable sustainable jet fuel in the UK. Fuel could be produced by 2025. British Airways’ parent company, International Airlines Group, will be investing US$400 million in sustainable aviation fuel in the next 20 years.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ CEO, said:

It is vital for our future that we continue to address climate change and we remain focused on playing our part to reduce the impact we have on the planet. For the last 100 years we have connected Britain with the world and the world with Britain, and to ensure our success for the next 100, we must do this sustainably.

Progressing the development and commercial deployment of sustainable aviation fuel is crucial to decarbonising the aviation industry and this partnership with LanzaJet shows the progress British Airways is making as we continue on our journey to net zero.

Following the successful start-up of the Georgia plant, we hope to deploy the technology and SAF production capacity in the UK. The UK has the experience and resources needed to become a global leader in the deployment of such sustainable aviation fuel production facilities, and we need Government support to drive decarbonisation and accelerate the realisation of this vision.

Jimmy Samartzis, LanzaJet CEO, said:

Our world is at a crossroads on climate change and our industry is at inflection point, prepared to accelerate the energy transition that is needed. We are delighted to welcome British Airways to the LanzaJet family. Low-cost, sustainable fuel options are critical for the future of the aviation sector and the LanzaJet process offers the most flexible feedstock solution at scale, recycling wastes and residues into SAF that allows us to keep fossil jet fuel in the ground.

British Airways has long been a champion of waste to fuels pathways especially with the UK Government. With the right support for waste-based fuels, the UK would be an ideal location for commercial scale LanzaJet plants. We look forward to continuing the dialogue with BA and the UK Government in making this a reality, and to continuing our support of bringing the Prime Minister’s Jet Zero vision to life.

British Airways has a roadmap to meet its net zero 2050 target. In the short-term, the airline is improving its operational efficiency, flying more fuel-efficient aircraft and introducing carbon offset and removal projects. The airline is also looking at technological solutions such as zero emissions hydrogen aircraft and carbon capture technology.

LanzaJet was launched in June 2020 and is a spin-off from leading biotech company LanzaTech. British Airways will be joining LanzaTech, Mitsui and Suncor Energy as investors in LanzaJet. With the addition of British Airways, LanzaJet now plans to develop a further four larger scale plants operating from 2025, producing a pipeline of sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel made from sustainable feedstocks, to support and enable the global decarbonisation of the aviation sector. It is hoped that some or all of these plants will be built in the UK subject to improved Government policy support for waste-based sustainable aviation fuels.

British Airways and LanzaTech are also part of the Jet Zero Council, a partnership between government and industry to drive forward the UK Government’s net zero-emission ambitions for the aviation and aerospace sector, with a focus on sustainable aviation fuels. 

UK Government confirms mandatory hotel quarantine

From 15 February 2021 anyone travelling to the UK from a country on the UK’s travel ban list will be required to quarantine in a government-approved facility for ten days.

The UK Government has announced the introduction of hotel-based quarantine. The notification states:

From 15 February anyone travelling to the UK from a country on the UK’s travel ban list will be required to quarantine in a government-approved facility for a period of ten days.

General Sir Gordon Messenger will play an important role in advising the government on the delivery of the programme

On the evening of 4 February, the Department of Health and Social Care issued a commercial specification to hotels near ports and airports, asking for proposals on how they can support the delivery of Managed Quarantine Facilities ahead of formal contracts being awarded.

The government has met with stakeholders from across the aviation, maritime, hotel and hospitality industries, and will now continue to finalise plans to enable implementation from 15 February.

The Government notification continued:

The Health Secretary [Matt Hancock] held discussions with his Australian counterpart on Thursday [4 February], and officials will speak with New Zealand officials to share expertise. DHSC has also held a series of roundtables with over 60 companies and industry representatives as the public and private sector work together.

UK Government publishes RED LIST countries

The UK Government has announced a list of countries from which passengers (other than British or Irish nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK) will not be allowed to travel to the UK.

People who have been in or transited through the countries listed below in the last 10 days will not be granted access to the UK.

This does not include British and Irish Nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK, who will be able to enter the UK but are required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival along with their household.

You cannot use the Test to Release scheme to reduce the 10-day self-isolation requirement.

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Eswatini
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

You could be fined £500 when you arrive at the border if you cannot provide proof that you have had a negative coronavirus test.

If you arrive in England from anywhere outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man you will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

Managed isolation in hotels

Managed isolation in hotels will be for those arriving from countries where the UK Government has imposed international travel bans and who cannot be refused entry – they will be required to isolate for 10 days without exception. More details will be provided by the UK Government in due course.

Any published updates to the list, or related restrictions can be found here.

Airport Covid testing

International travel, in most cases, now requires passengers to show evidence of a negative test for Covid-19. So we have created the following resource to help travellers choose, plan and book Covid tests, in the most practical and convenient location.

We will expand the list as more details are provided of testing centres and facilities, as they are announced and launched.

The following is a set of useful contact details, links and other information about Covid testing at airports around the world. Please use the following information as a guide. If you would like further information, please contact your GTM Account Manager.

The opening times, costs, and turnaround times test results are for guidance only. In each case, please contact the testing centre directly. However, note that some of the centres offer testing only for arriving passengers, so cannot provide test certificates for departing passengers.


London Heathrow

Terminals 2 and 5

Test type Antibody, antigen, LAMP and PCR

Opening hours see website

Approximate cost £40-£99

Results available 45 mins-48 hours


London Gatwick

Test type PCR

Opening hours 08:00-20:00

Approximate cost £60-£99

Results available by 22:00 following day


London Luton

Test type Antibody, antigen, LAMP and PCR

Opening hours 09:00-17:00

Approximate cost £40-£99

Results available 45 mins-48 hours


London City

Test type Antibody, antigen, LAMP and PCR

Opening hours 10:30-17:00

Approximate cost £40-£99

Results available 45 mins-48 hours


Edinburgh Airport

Test type PCR

Opening hours 08:00-20:00

Approximate cost £80-£99

Results available Within 24 hours


Manchester Airport

Test type Antibody, antigen, LAMP and PCR

Opening hours 07:00-19:00

Approximate cost £40-£99

Results available 45 mins-48 hours (PCR)


Newcastle Airport

Test type Antigen and PCR

Opening hours 08:00-17:00

Approximate cost £60-£109

Results available 45 mins-48 hours (PCR)




Vienna Airport

Test type Antigen and PCR

Opening hours 07:00-20:00

Approximate cost €40-€135

Results available 30 mins-48 hours (PCR)

Website or email


Paris, Charles de Gaulle

Test type Antigen and PCR

Opening hours 07:00-17:00

Approximate cost Free under French insurance/fee for international travellers not advised

Results available 2-48 hours (PCR)


Orly, Paris

Test type Antigen and PCR

Opening hours 07:00-19:00

Approximate cost Free under French insurance/fee for international travellers not advised

Results available 2-48 hours (PCR)


Nice Côte d’Azur Airport

Test type Antibody

Opening hours 08:00-14:00

Approximate cost Free

Results available 30 minutes


Toulouse-Blagnac Airport

Test type PCR

Opening hours 10:00-18:00

Approximate cost €46

Results available 30 minutes



Dusseldorf International Airport

Test type PCR

Opening hours 07:00-21:00

Approximate cost €59

Results available within 24 hours


Frankfurt am Main Airport

Test type PCR

Opening hours 06:00-19:00

Approximate cost €59-€139

Results available 2.5-24 hours


Munich International Airport

Test type PCR, antigen and antibody

Opening hours 06:00-00:00

Approximate cost €55-€181

Results available 6-48 hours

On airport walk-in


Athens International Airport

Test type PCR

Opening hours 07:00-23:00

Approximate cost €60

Results available within 24 hours



Keflavik, Reykjavik

Test type PCR and antibody

Opening hours tbc

Approximate cost £65

Results available 12 hours

Airport arrivals hall walk in. Two tests are required with 5 – 6 day quarantine period in between tests



Test type PCR and LAMP

Opening hours via website

Approximate cost €99-€149

Results available 24-48 hours/12 hours



Luxembourg Airport

Test type PCR and antigen

Opening hours vary, according to flight arrivals

Approximate cost free of charge

Results available 24-48 hours

Exit of departures hall


Sheremetyevo, Moscow

Test type PCR

Opening hours 05:00-03:00 (+1)

Approximate cost £18-27

Results available 1-24 hours



Zurich Airport

Test type PCR

Opening hours 06:00-20:00

Approximate cost CHF195

Results available 5-24 hours



Boston Logan International Airport

Test type PCR, antibody and rapid molecular

Opening hours 10:00-18:00

Approximate cost $75-$200

Results available 48-72 hours


Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Test type PCR and rapid antigen

Opening hours tbc

Approximate cost tbc

Results available 72 hours and 20 minutes


John F. Kennedy International Airport New York

Test type PCR and antibody

Opening hours 10:00-18:00

Approximate cost $75-$200

Results available 5 minutes – 72 hours


Los Angeles International Airport

Test type PCR

Opening hours 08:00-18:00

Approximate cost $125

Results available 3-72 hours


Newark Liberty International Airport

Test type PCR and antibody

Opening hours 10:00-18:00

Approximate cost $75-$200

Results available 15 minutes – 72 hours

On airport walk-in

San Francisco Airport

Test type rapid Nucleic Acid Amplification Test

Opening hours 08:00-18:00

Approximate cost $250

Results available ‘less than an hour’

Website Testing is limited to Cathay Pacific Airways passengers; United Airlines passengers with confirmed travel originating at SFO to the Hawaiian Islands. In either case, the airline will provide a link for eligible passengers to book an online appointment.
Walk-in passengers on other itineraries whose travel originates out of SFO may be accepted for testing by Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care on a limited first come first served basis.

Tampa International Airport

Test type PCR and antigen

Opening hours 07:30-13:30

Approximate cost $60-$150

Results available 15 minutes – 48 hours

On airport walk in – more info at

Rest of the world


Test type PCR

Approximate cost HK$499

09:30-18:00 2-24 hours

07:00-23:59 2 hours


Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai

Test type PCR

Opening hours 24 hours

Approximate cost £40

Results available 8 hours

T2 Airport arrivals lounge


Haneda, Tokyo

Test type PCR

Opening hours 09:00-11:30 and 13:00-17:30

Approximate cost £317

Results available 24 hours


Narita, Tokyo

Test type PCR

Opening hours 09:00-21:00

Approximate cost JPY39,800-JPY46,500

Results available 2-24 hours

Email in advance – – or walk-in


Singapore Changi Airport

Test type PCR

Opening hours tbc

Approximate cost Sin$196

Results available 48 hours


Latest Travel Corridors List

The UK Government published a list of countries, territories and regions that comprise the “travel corridor”. The travel corridor was suspended with effect from 04:00 on 18 January 2021.

If you arrive in England from anywhere outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man you will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

You must have proof of a negative coronavirus test to travel to England.

Prior to the suspension, the safe travel corridor comprised the following countries, territories and locations

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Botswana
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Cayman Islands
  • the Channel Islands
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Gibraltar
  • Greek islands: Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, Zakynthos
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • the Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Laos
  • Latvia
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia
  • Mongolia
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
  • Rwanda
  • Samoa
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Sri Lanka
  • St Barthélemy
  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam

Before you plan your next trip, talk to your GTM Account Manager to determine the latest information regarding quarantine and other guidance for the countries, regions and territories you intend to visit.

Negative Covid test required for passengers arriving in England or Scotland

Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, announced the introduction of a new requirement for anyone travelling to England. 

He said,

If you are coming here from anywhere, whether you’re a Brit or a foreign national, then you’ll need to take a Covid test up to 72 hours before you come here.

If the pre-journey Covid test is positive, passengers will be required to quarantine, under the laws of the country from which they are travelling, until they recover.

Passengers will still be required to quarantine for ten days (which can be reduced using the test to release programme) on arrival in England. The quarantine rule does not apply when travelling from countries on the Government’s Safe Travel Corridor list.


The requirement for inbound passengers to show a negative Covid test before travelling to England, from a foreign country has been pushed back to 04:00 on Monday, 18 January.

Passengers to Ireland from Great Britain will be required to show evidence of a negative PCR test

The Irish Government has updated its rules on travel to Ireland from Great Britain and South Africa.

From 9 January 2021, all passengers arriving at Irish airports and ports whose journey originates in Great Britain or South Africa will be requested to have evidence of a negative result from a pre-departure Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test (COVID-19 not detected) taken up to 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland.

These people will be advised to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Ireland.

Paul Baker said:

If you’re travelling to Ireland, it’s crucial that you book a PCR test before you depart. We can provide information on recommended PCR test suppliers. So business travellers intending to visit Ireland should contact their GTM Account Manager for advice.

Scott Pawley said:

An increasing number of countries are mandating negative PCR tests for travel, and the list of countries demanding this is changing almost daily. So, at GTM, we are recommending that anyone making international trips from the UK should take a PCR test prior to departure.