Major US carrier Delta Air Lines has flown the first coronavirus (Covid-19) tested flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Taking place on 15 December, it marked the first of two flight trial programmes that Delta is introducing this week. The second flight from Atlanta to Rome will start from 19 December.

Delta initially announced plans to launch the first ‘quarantine-free’ flights from the US to Europe last month.

Both passengers and crew undergo pre-flight testing protocols with Covid-19 and will not require quarantine after arrival.

Delta alliances and international senior vice-president Perry Cantarutti said: “Air travel is the backbone of the global economy. In normal times, it supports more than 87 million jobs and contributes to $3.5tn in GDP worldwide.

“The arrival of a vaccine is fantastic news, but it will take time for it to become widely available around the world.

“It’s for this reason we have worked tirelessly with the authorities and our partners to create a blueprint for travel corridors that will enable air travel to safely resume.”

With this operation, Delta is the first US airline to offer Covid-free, quarantine-free flights between the US and Europe.

Delta is operating the Covid-tested flight to Amsterdam in conjunction with its trans-Atlantic partner KLM. The flight will depart four days a week, with both carriers each operating two frequencies.

The carrier will also operate three times a week service to Rome.

Citizens having essential travel requirements such as certain specified work, health and education reasons can avail the two pilot programmes.