Lufthansa is to join its group airline, SWISS, requiring that flight crew are fully vaccinated moving forward. The airline says that international flight operations will not be feasible in the future without such a policy, given how many doors they open concerning international travel.
Vaccines are largely being seen as a key to reopening international travel in many countries around the world. However, like many things, their acceptance varies around the world. Right now, fully vaccinated individuals can avoid quarantine on arrival in Germany when traveling from anywhere in the world, whereas the United Kingdom’s rules are much stricter.
Lufthansa to require vaccinations for flight crew
Earlier this week, SWISS revealed that it would require its flight crew to be fully vaccinated from mid-November. Now, its sister airline Lufthansa is following suit. A Lufthansa spokesperson told Simple Flying,
“International flight operations will not be feasible in the future without mandatory Corona vaccination for aircraft crews, as many countries will also require proof of vaccination from pilots and airline pilots.
“For this reason, we are working with the personnel representatives on corresponding agreements that (analogous to the yellow fever vaccination that is already mandatory today) make a Corona vaccination a prerequisite for flying assignments.”
In early June, Lufthansa began making it easier for its employees to get vaccinated by launching in-house vaccinations via its company doctors. Initially, the airline was targeting its front-line employees at a time when it was still relatively difficult to secure a vaccine appointment in Germany.
It has become much easier to get a vaccine in the months since, with mobile clinics being found in many day-to-day settings, such as lakeside beaches. Additionally, life in Germany has become easier. Many activities require proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative COVID-19 test. Germany is to stop offering such tests for free in mid-October.
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Passengers won’t require vaccinations
Two weeks ago, Canada revealed that anybody flying on an aircraft, be they crew or passengers, will require a COVID-19 vaccination from the end of October at the latest. The same can’t be said for Germany and Lufthansa, at least for now. In comments to Simple Flying, a Lufthansa spokesperson added,
“Lufthansa does not intend to introduce a mandatory vaccination certificate for passengers on its flights or to make vaccination mandatory for non-flying personnel.”
According to the latest government figures, over 100 million COVID-19 vaccines have been given in Germany. As such, 59.9% of the population is now fully vaccinated, while 64.8% have had the first vaccine. In recent weeks the vaccination rate in Germany has been dropping, leading to many incentives to vaccinate, tied with easy access to vaccines.
What do you make of Lufthansa’s decision to require flight crew vaccines? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!