Staff for both airlines are expected to be fast tracked into the system to help with administering the vaccine in various capacities.
In a statement, Virgin Atlantic said that it is working with the NHS and St John’s Ambulance service to “secure voluntary and paid opportunities for its people at NHS mass vaccination centres”.
The initiative will involve cabin crew, pilots and ground staff, as well as office-based teams, some of whom are currently on furlough.
Those involved will be given special training and will be taking on tasks ranging from actually administering the vaccine, to looking after patient welfare and managing the logistics of the vaccine centres.
EasyJet has also offered its furloughed cabin crew to help the NHS in the vaccine roll out. The airline said its crew members are already first aid trained and security cleared and are conveniently located around the country, including in London, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast.
It’s expected that they will receive online as well as onsite immunisation training before administering the vaccine to the public.
It’s not the first time that staff employed by the two airlines have supported the NHS during the current pandemic.
In March last year, Virgin and easyJet both wrote to its furloughed staff to ask that they become NHS volunteers at the new Nightingale Hospital in London.
It coincided with the first lockdown, which saw almost all flights cancelled and flight crew grounded.
Staff working for other travel companies have also been drafted in to help the NHS while the industry is experiencing its biggest downturn.
Hays Travel, the UK’s biggest independent travel agency, was subcontracted to handle track and trace, for example.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies