Safe Travel Barometer Tracks 300+ Airlines and their Crew Vaccine Requirements

In an effort to revive travel demand amidst the long-drawn out pandemic, airlines are introducing vaccine mandates for their staff, particularly customer facing crew. It is no secret and evidenced by multiple studies that traveling between borders is high-risk and contributes directly to the global transmission.

The safety of the frontline staff is imperative as they come in closest contact with the passengers onboard. Therefore, any layer of confidence such as crew vaccine that can be offered to consumers would be a right way of gaining their lost confidence.

Vaccinated Crew: Not so Fast

In February 2021, Etihad Airways claimed to be the first airline in the world with a fully vaccinated flight staff – pilots and cabin crew – to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Around January 2021, Etihad set in motion an employee vaccination initiative known as ‘Choose to Vaccinate’, which included converting its Abu Dhabi headquarters into a certified vaccination site. In the same month,   began a vaccination drive for airline crew and airport workers. Singapore Airlines claims that 99% of its active pilots and cabin crew and all frontline ground staff, fully vaccinated by now. Its sister companies,   have also begun to operate flights with vaccinated pilots and attendants.

Vaccine Mandates: Some Exceptions?

Few airlines are willing to accommodate crew members who cannot be vaccinated due to medical conditions. Airlines such as Delta Airlines and Emirates pivoted to a more punitive approach toward getting its workforce vaccinated against COVID-19. Delta now mandates its non-vaccinated employees to pay $200 every month into the company-sponsored healthcare plan, while U.A.E based Emirates has directed its crew to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or pay for a PCR test out of pocket and submit a negative test report seven days before flight.

It is yet uncertain to what extent vaccinated flights will uplift air travel. Aviation is one of the first overarching industries to make big strides toward requiring full vaccination of its employees. However, it’s a logical move because the flight crew is exposed to people from all over the world, making it a high-risk scenario. In an effort to keep everyone safe many more airlines are mandating vaccine as a crucial part of travel for their employees and passengers while new variants take hold.

Airline Crew Vaccination Requirement

AirlineCountryVaccine Requirement for CrewCrew Vaccination Policy Details
Air CanadaCanadaMandatoryAll employees need to report their vaccination status before October 31, 2021
Air IndiaIndiaMandatoryOperating crew and frontline staff is 100% vaccinated
AirAsiaMalaysiaMandatoryOperating crew and frontline staff is 100% vaccinated
All Nippon AirwaysJapanMandatoryTo complete two-shot vaccinations for priority employees in late August, 2021.
Cathay PacificHong KongMandatoryPilots and flight attendants would need to be vaccinated by August, 2021.
Delta AirlinesU.S.OptionalEmployees to be fully vaccinated or face the alternative of weekly testing and a $200 monthly surcharge for health insurance.
EmiratesU.A.E.OptionalEmployees to be fully vaccinated or to pay for a test to prove they’re not infected before each flight.
Etihad AirwaysU.A.E.MandatoryOperating crew and frontline staff is 100% vaccinated
Japan AirlinesJapanMandatoryOperating crew and frontline staff needs to be vaccinated
JetBlue AirwaysU.S.OptionalMajority of the operating crew and frontline staff is already vaccinated
LufthansaGermanyOptionalVaccine preference to those working in customer-facing roles such as cabin crew and check-in staff
Qantas AirwaysAustraliaMandatoryFrontline employees including cabin crew, pilots and airport workers need to be fully vaccinated by November 15, 2021
Qatar AirwaysQatarMandatoryOperating crew and frontline staff is 100% vaccinated
Singapore AirlinesSingaporeMandatoryOperating crew and frontline staff is 99% vaccinated
United AirlinesU.S.MandatoryAll employees need to be fully vaccinated by October 25, 2021.
VistaraIndiaMandatoryOperating crew and frontline staff is 100% vaccinated

View more about airline crew vaccination policy on Safe Travel Barometer’s Airline Dashboard

Image Credit: Etihad Airways

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