MIAMI – In a rare and tough move, Cathay Pacific Airlines (CX) has told its crew members to get vaccinated or risk losing their job.

The reasons mentioned by CX deal with the “extreme difficulties and complications” in managing crews with the need to separate those vaccinated from non-vaccinated.

The airline also indicated the possibility of finding solutions for those crew members with valid reasons for not getting vaccinated but added that their future employment would be reviewed to assess if they can continue working as crews.

United Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner N29907 – Photo : Ervin Eslami/Airways

100% Vaccinated Staff

Besides the difficulties in rostering crew, CX also mentioned that the strict Hong Kong (HKG) health regulations regarding COVID and related quarantine measures apply also to those non-vaccinated crew members. To that effect, high-risk or travel bubble destinations can only be operated by fully vaccinated crew members.

Currently, the airline flight deck crews show a rate of vaccination of 90% while cabin crew’s stand at 65%. The airline has said that 100% full vaccination is expected from all HKG bases flying staff by August 31.

Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner VH-ZND – Photo : Aidan Pullino/Airways

Similar Measures by Other Airlines

Less harsh vaccination requirements are those applied by United Airlines (UA), with effect from August, with mandatory vaccination for crews flying to high-risk countries.

Delta Airlines (DL) is also requesting full vaccination for new hires, while Qantas (QF) announced that only fully vaccinated crews and passengers would be allowed in the country once free travel resumes.

Emirates Airbus 380 A6-EEQ in United for Wildlife Special Livery – Photo : Daniel Sander/Airways

The first airline to incite its staff to get a vaccine was Emirates (EK) that, from last January, has set up a free vaccination campaign but has also announced that those employees that do not get the jab would have to pay for tests to prove they are not COVID-positive.

Article sourced from BBC News, Reuters.

Featured image: Cathay Pacific Airbus 350-1000 B-LXB. Photo: Ervin Eslami/Airways