The German flag carrier is looking to use antigen tests, which can be administered and processed on site and typically take just 15 minutes to yield a result.
This is a much quicker turnaround that the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) swab tests, so far favoured by airlines, which take several hours to process in a lab.
“You know that companies like Abbott or Roche are bringing these tests to the market and we are definitely looking into this,” said Bjoern Becker, senior director for product management, ground and digital services at the Lufthansa Group, reports Reuters.
Watch: Coronavirus: what is the difference between an antigen and antibody test?
He was referring to antigen tests that are small and quick to use, such as Abbott’s disposable BinaxNOW, which is the size of a credit card and costs just $5.
“You will see us applying [to] them for new products within the next few weeks in October.
“That’s definitely the next thing to come.”
Becker added that the airline group was considering rolling the service out to first and business class travellers only at the outset due to limited supplies of tests.
Lufthansa is also discussing opening test centres in the US and Canada, two important markets for the airline.
The Independent has contacted Lufthansa for comment.
Antigen tests work slightly differently to the PCR; although both are diagnostic tests, PCRs detect the virus’s genetic material, while antigen tests detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus.
According to the FDA, while antigen tests are “usually highly accurate” when it comes to positive results, “negative results may need to be confirmed with a molecular test.”
It adds that antigen tests can’t “definitively rule out active coronavirus infection. Antigen tests are more likely to miss an active coronavirus infection compared to molecular tests.”