Canada’s Swoop Joins COVID-Free Flight Trend

Low-cost carrier Swoop has joined the COVID-free flight trend. Beginning on December 19th, the airline is partnering with IHG Hotels & Resorts to offer limited vacation packages to Montego Bay, Jamaica, out of Toronto. All passengers will receive a complimentary pre-travel COVID-19 test, meaning everyone on board the plane will be guaranteed to have a negative test.

Swoop aircraft
Swoop, in partnership with IHG, is offering COVID-free flights and getaways. Photo: Swoop

Swoop’s Trust Travel Getaways

Swoop is calling the program “Trusted Travel Getaways.” These include warm-weather vacation destinations this winter, namely Montego Bay in Jamaica. The program is in conjunction with IHG Hotels & Resorts. Customers booking the Jamaica Trusted Travel Getaway will be staying at the Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay, an all-inclusive resort.

Swoop is making this a COVID-free flight, with all passengers receiving a complimentary and mandatory pre-travel COVID-19 test. Anyone departing on a Trusted Travel Getaway will thus have a negative COVID-19 test.

Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial at Swoop, stated the following:

“We’ve heard from many Canadians who are eager to get away this winter but want to do so responsibly. Swoop and IHG Hotels & Resorts have a shared focus on thorough health and hygiene protocols. We believe that the inclusion of free COVID-19 insurance along with the requirement of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding will ensure that sun-seeking Ontarians can travel confidently from Toronto Pearson. While testing is currently not a requirement for Canadians to enter Jamaica, we look forward to offering this additional screening measure to provide enhanced peace of mind for our travellers.”  

Swoop has arranged for a Canadian laboratory service provider to administer the required testing.

Swoop primarily targets leisure travelers. Photo: Swoop

When will Swoop be flying?

The Trusted Travel Getaway will run on December 19th, 26th, and January 2nd. Passengers will depart from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). The packages, including roundtrip flights and seven nights at the all-inclusive resort, ground transfers, and Swoop’s complimentary COVID-19 coverage, will start at C$1450 per traveler.

Do note that, on the way back, travelers will need to follow Canadian entry requirements. This includes a mandated quarantine, regardless of the pre-departure COVID-19 test. Note that testing is available only on departure.

Testing is key for many reasons

Some other practices, such as temperature checking and self-reporting of symptoms, have proven to be less effective than many had previously thought. As such, airlines and others alike have started to turn towards testing to open up travel corridors and stir up demand and get people flying who might otherwise shy away from getting onboard a plane.

Swoop interior
Some passengers are concerned about getting sick on a plane. Pre-travel COVID-19 tests should help alleviate some of those concerns. Photo: Swoop

In addition, these COVID-free flights are also little testing opportunities for airlines and regulatory agencies to understand whether or not COVID-free flights are actually achievable. The public health crisis is still going on, and many countries and localities still have travel restrictions in effect. While there has been talk about using testing to spur travel, few corridors have emerged.

Are you going to take one of Swoop’s Trusted Travel getaways? Let us know in the comments!