<p>Vaccines ‘will help guard against disruptions,’ says Qantas chief executive </p>

Vaccines ‘will help guard against disruptions,’ says Qantas chief executive

Qantas announces all airline staff must be vaccinated

No jabs, no jobs, says Aussie airline as employees are given a deadline for vaccination

Lucy Thackray
Wednesday 18 August 2021 14:01

Australian airline Qantas is the latest company to require all of its staff to be fully vaccinated.

According to new rules, customer-facing team members - pilots, cabin crew and airport staff - must be fully vaccinated by mid-November.

Remaining colleagues have until the end of March 2022 to receive both doses.

Australia’s flagship carrier is the country’s highest profile airline to introduce a mandatory vaccination policy so far.

“We provide an essential service, so this will help guard against the disruptions that can be caused by just one positive Covid case shutting down a freight facility or airport terminal,” said chief executive Alan Joyce in a statement.

In a poll of its 22,000 staff, Qantas found that 89 per cent of respondents had already been vaccinated or were planning to be.

Furthermore, around three quarters of staff thought it should be mandatory.

Just 4 per cent of the 12,000 respondents - around 480 staff - said they were unwilling or unable to get the vaccine.

Qantas isn’t alone in wanting all staff to be fully jabbed. US carriers United and Hawaiian Airlines have both introduced a vaccine mandate, with Alaska Airlines considering a similar policy.

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific also told staff in June that they must get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.

However, the wider aviation industry remains divided on whether compulsory staff vaccines are the way forward.

In February, UK airline bosses Shai Weiss, of Virgin Atlantic, and Steve Heapy, of Jet2, both said that vaccination would remain optional for staff, citing personal freedom of choice and legal issues around the requirement.

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