Delta to Bring Rapid Covid Tests to MSP Airport This Month

Delta to Bring Rapid Covid Tests to MSP Airport This Month

The tests could provide results in a matter of hours before international flights.

Delta Air Lines Inc., still the dominant carrier at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, plans to roll out rapid Covid-19 testing at the airport later this month.

The news, first reported by travel news site Thrifty Traveler on Tuesday, could pave the way for the airline to resume nonstop flights from MSP to Amsterdam.

In an email, a Delta spokeswoman confirmed that the airline is working with “its testing partner to facilitate passenger testing at the airport.”

“We hope to have the MSP testing center in operation later this month,” she said.

The rapid tests would, in theory, provide passengers with a Covid result in a matter of hours instead of days, unlike the airport’s existing testing operation. Currently, Minnesota residents can get a standard saliva test at the airport and receive results in a few days. Like the state’s other community test sites, the current MSP Airport site is operated by New York-based Vault Medical Services.

Delta still advises passengers to arrive at the airport three hours ahead of their flight.

More and more countries are beginning to require passengers to provide a negative Covid-19 test result before departures. In the U.S., Alaska and Hawaii now require visitors — even domestic ones — to take Covid-19 tests before entering.

Though travel declined significantly at MSP Airport in 2020 due to the pandemic, Delta still served the most passengers at the airport. Last year, the airport reported total passenger traffic of 14.9 million, down 62 percent from the prior year. In 2020, Delta — along with its regional affiliates — handled nearly 69 percent of all traffic at MSP. Twin Cities-based low-cost carrier Sun Country Airlines, which served 10.6 percent of 2020’s passengers, came in second.