July 27, 2020
Air Canada has partnered with Spartan Bioscience to introduce rapid coronavirus testing to the airline.
Spartan Bioscience is a Canadian biotech firm based out of Ottawa. In early 2020, it developed the Cube, a portable DNA analyzer that can test for COVID-19 in one hour. The Cube was given emergency-use approval by Health Canada, and eventually ordered by the Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and federal governments.
Air Canada will work with the biotech firm to assess how the Cube can be used and integrated into its CleanCare+ program, which was introduced in May and encompasses a variety of biosafety precautions for safe air travel. Of the Cube, Air Canada’s Vice President of safety said, “We believe the availability of a rapid, accurate, portable molecular test for COVID-19 will add yet another effective layer. We are excited by the potential and point of care use cases for the Spartan Cube, and look forward to working with the Spartan team in the weeks and months ahead.”
The partnership with Spartan is a good fit for the airline. Air Canada has been at the forefront of air biosafety since the beginning of the pandemic. It was one of the first airlines to take passengers’ temperatures prior to allowing them onto the plane, in addition to being one of the first airlines to mandate face coverings onboard.
Author: Matthew Erdman