Worldwide, several airlines have made commitments to vaccinate all their employees. Some, like United Airlines, are making the vaccination mandatory, while others are only suggesting it. In Latin America, there hasn’t been much information on the subject, but now, we have updates from a few carriers. Let’s investigate further.
A few airlines like United, Air Canada, Virgin Australia, airBaltic, Wizz Air, Lufthansa, and Swiss have mandatory vaccination requirements among their employees. For example, United’s CEO, Scott Kirby, said, getting as many people vaccinated as possible is the fastest way to end the pandemic.
In Latin America, only one airline has made such an announcement. We’re talking about the Brazilian low-cost carrier GOL Linhas Aereas.
In a brief statement sent to Simple Flying, GOL said that vaccination will be mandatory for all the employees by November.
GOL believes Brazil has received enough COVID-19 vaccines to completely cover approximately 90% of all Brazilians over 12 years old.
Mandatory vaccinations for new employees
The low-cost carrier Viva has also announced its approach regarding its employee’s vaccination status.
According to a statement published by Viva’s CEO, Felix Antelo, every new employee must be vaccinated. He said,
“In Viva, the priority is the health and safety of our collaborators and passengers. To be coherent with this compromise, we’ve established new policies: by November 1, we need all our new collaborators to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 upon their entrance into the company.”
He then added that approximately 90% of Viva’s current staff is already vaccinated. The company hopes to get to 100% in the next few weeks.
Viva currently has domestic operations in Colombia and Peru. The low-cost airline also flies to Mexico and the US. Nevertheless, it expects to add destinations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Costa Rica in the mid-term.
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Not mandatory vaccinations
We have the status of two additional Latin American carriers. These two operators have not made it mandatory for their employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccinations. We’re talking about Volaris in Mexico and Aerolíneas Argentinas.
Volaris’ CEO, Enrique Beltranena, recently said,
“It is a company’s priority to have all the workforce vaccinated.”
He then added that between 85 and 95% of Volaris’ employees are currently vaccinated. “Health is our top priority, so we’re also taking random COVID-19 tests to prevent new cases,” Beltranena said.
Meanwhile, Aerolíneas Argentinas said that its staff doesn’t need to be vaccinated. The carrier said,
“Aerolíneas Argentinas’ employees are considered essential; they took part in the vaccination campaign via the Transport Ministry, along with other State employees. Nevertheless, it was not mandatory to receive the shot. It is also not mandatory, at the moment, to have to be able to work (with the company).”
We’ll update you in the future regarding the vaccination status of other Latin American carriers. Next week there will be more information regarding companies like LATAM, Avianca, Copa Airlines, Aeromexico, and Viva Aerobus.
According to the Pan American Health Organization, only one in four people in Latin America and the Caribbean is fully vaccinated. Finally, the region needs approximately 540 million doses to cover at least 60% of the population.
What do you think? Should it be mandatory for airline employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19? Let us know in the comments.