Air New Zealand supports ESR to get smart with saliva
Starting next week, Air New Zealand employees who are currently undertaking regular surveillance testing under the Ministry of Health testing order will be invited to participate in the study.
The purpose of this study is to see if a saliva sample is an accurate, easy and acceptable method of detecting COVID-19 compared to the current nasopharyngeal swab test. The study has recently been given the go ahead by the Ministry of Health National Health and Disability Ethics Committee.
Air New Zealand Chief Medical Officer Dr Ben Johnston says the airline is keen to investigate how to make the testing process as simple, easy and comfortable as possible for its crew, pilots and airport staff who are tested on a regular basis.
"It's great to team up with ESR on this trial to see if a faster and more non-invasive option is available as it's likely surveillance testing for COVID-19 will be required for some time into the future."
"This study will bring us one step closer to looking at the effectiveness of saliva testing, which would greatly improve the experience for our people who are committed to keeping New Zealanders safe."
ESR Chief Scientist Dr Brett Cowan says Air New Zealand is an ideal partner to test the science of saliva testing.
"Air New Zealand is joining us on this scientific exploration for the benefit of all New Zealanders, so that we may unpack how this tool can or can't be used in our unique situation and context. This study will go a long way to determining if saliva testing can be added to New Zealand's toolbox as we look to strengthen our defense against COVID-19."
The study will run over two to three months and will take place alongside the existing nasopharyngeal swab. ESR will compare the accuracy of both the saliva and regular nasopharyngeal in their laboratories.
Issued by Air New Zealand Communications.
About Star Alliance
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Air Portugal, THAI, Turkish Airlines, and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 19,000 daily flights to more than 1,250 airports in 195 countries. Further connecting flights are offered by Star Alliance Connecting Partner, Juneyao Airlines.
Star Alliance Press Office: Tel: +49 69 96375 183 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org