Fewer Than 10 Employees Quit United Airlines Over Vaccine Mandate

Following United Airlines’ vaccine mandate, fewer than ten employees have resigned, said the company’s CEO, Scott Kirby. Additionally, more than 90% of the workers have shown the proof of their vaccination.

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Only ten United Airlines’ employees have resigned due to the vaccine being mandatory. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

How many United employees have been vaccinated?

In August, United Airlines made headlines worldwide after stating that it would be mandatory for all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It was the first US major carrier to implement such a policy.

In a message to its employees, United Airlines said,

“This fall, every US-based United employee will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine… the latest potential deadline for meeting this requirement is October 25th.”

Now, Scott Kirby told CNN that about 90% of United’s employees are vaccinated. The company has approximately 67,000 employees.

Moreover, only ten have resigned following the vaccine mandate. Kirby added,

“In a large company, it’s a handful. The ones I’m aware of are in the single-digit number of people. We’re going to have more by the time it finishes, but it’s going to be a very low number of people.”

Regarding the remaining 10%, Kirby said he believes most of them have already gotten the vaccine. It is just a matter of time before they upload their verifications, he added. Every worker that uploads their proof of vaccination by September 20 is eligible for an additional day of pay.

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United Airlines believes 90% of its employees have received their vaccinations. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Domestic travel won’t require a vaccine mandate

Scott Kirby believes that getting as many people vaccinated as possible is the best way to end the pandemic. It is also the best strategy to get international air travel back on track.

However, United’s CEO doesn’t believe domestic travel in the United States requires obligatory vaccination, nor it would help to improve current vaccinated stats in the country. During its interview with CNN, he said,

“I don’t think mandating vaccination for air travel on its own will drive a huge increase in vaccination rates.”

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Worldwide each airline is taking a different approach regarding the vaccine. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

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What are other airlines doing?

Worldwide, several airlines have issued mandatory vaccines policies for their employees. In the US, the topic remains a controversial one. For instance, some carriers like Delta are not making it obligatory, but they will charge a US$200 extra a month to their non-vaccinated workers for health insurance.

Meanwhile, other carriers, like Alaska Airlines and Horizon are only requiring a mandatory vaccine for their new employees.

Elsewhere, Air Canada is one of the airlines that is mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for current and future employees. They have until October 30 to confirm their status with the carrier.

Virgin Australia is taking a similar approach. Under a proposed policy, Virgin Australia’s frontline members must have the vaccine by November 15; all office-based members by March 31, 2022.

Qantas’ CEO also wants the Australian Government to mandate and prioritize vaccinating aviation workers.

In Europe, carriers like airBaltic, Wizz Air, Lufthansa, and Swiss are among the ones that are requiring mandatory crew vaccinations.

Finally, in Latin America, only one airline has confirmed the vaccine will be mandatory for its employees: GOL Linhas Aereas in Brazil. Simple Flying reached LATAM, Avianca, Aeroméxico, Copa Airlines, Volaris, Viva Aerobus, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Azul, and GOL to confirm their current status on the subject.

What do you think? Should it be mandatory for airline’s employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19? Let us know in the comments.