Wizz Air announced it was making the Covid-19 vaccine mandatory for all its flight and cabin staff by winter 2021, its one of the first European airlines to adopt such a policy. Wizz Air is a Hungary-based airline which serves 11 UK airports and has said the decision was based on health and safety grounds and to ensure the ‘smooth’ operation of services over the long term. Wizz Air airlines is looking to try to fight back from the effects of the pandemic, including travel restrictions and a major slump in demand for foreign excursions.
In a statement Wizz Air said: “Regular antigen/PCR testing would be allowed in special cases but by and large all of its customer facing staff would be double vaccinated by the December date.” Chief executive Jozsef Varadi said: “At Wizz Air, our number one priority is the health and safety of our passengers and employees. We have a responsibility to protect crew and passengers on board by mitigating the risks of Covid-19, and vaccines play a vital role in this.” Wizz Air did not explain any circumstances of jab exemptions.
British Airways has said that getting vaccinated is a personal choice for all of its staff. EasyJet is trying to encourage all of its staff to get vaccinated but is not ordering any of them to do so. Emirates is also encouraging staff to get the free vaccine or their staff will risk paying for their own regular testing. Jet2 and Virgin Atlantic has also said earlier this year that vaccination would likely remain optional for their staff. Cathay Pacific has also told employees their roles would be under ‘review’ if they refuse to get vaccinated.
United in the US has faced major backlash from their staff and US travellers over its demand that all employees have to be double vaccinated against Covid-19 by October, those who refuse they will face the prospect of losing their job. Delta also said that all employees have to be double vaccinated and warned it was going to charge unvaccinated staff up to $200 extra per month to cover increased health insurance costs from November.