United Airlines Looks To Mandate Vaccinations For Employees

United Airlines’ leadership shared on Thursday that it wants to mandate vaccines for employees amid the pandemic. The Chicago-based carrier is looking for its 60,000 staff members to be protected against coronavirus, which continues to rock the United States and the globe.

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United Airlines is not looking to take any risks following the vaccine rollout. Photo: Getty Images

A message from the chief

In a town hall meeting, United Airlines CEO spoke about its priorities for its employees amid the global health crisis. Ultimately, he believes that it would be best practice to require vaccines to protect the company’s staff members. Moreover, the businessman encourages other firms to have the same targets. He added that he “knows that the vaccines are safe” and that they are critical to ensure the safety of employees and customers as the airline flies around the world.

“The worst thing that I believe I will ever do in my career is the letters that I have written to the surviving family members of coworkers that we have lost to the coronavirus,” Kirby said in the meeting, as reported by CNBC.

“And so, for me, because I have confidence in the safety of the vaccine – and I recognize it’s controversial – I think the right thing to do is for United Airlines, and for other companies, to require the vaccines and to make them mandatory.”


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The operator hasn’t underplayed the impact of the pandemic since the beginning. Photo: Getty Images

Industry challenges

Airline employees are considered essential workers. So, they are likely to receive the vaccine before many segments of the public.

Nonetheless, not all carriers in the US are taking the exact same approach as United when it comes to vaccines. For instance, American Airlines recently shared that it does not plan to require its staff to receive the vaccine unless they are mandated for entry to specific destinations.

Southwest Airlines announced this week that it would be providing vaccinations for free to its employees. Delta Air Lines is also encouraging its teams to get vaccinated.

The Association of Flight Attendants shared that its focus is on getting crew members access to vaccines. It is looking for a federal approach that prioritizes flight attendants. At the moment, they are in different tiers for access in each state.

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Those working across airline operations are often in close proximity to others. Photo: United Airlines

Crucial months ahead

Altogether, with many airline employees working on the frontline, protection against the virus would undoubtedly help many team members feel comfortable when working. Additionally, it could help to further reduce risk to customers across services. Therefore, it’s unsurprising that United Airlines is keen for those working in the company to get vaccinated as the pandemic continues to take its toll on the aviation industry.

What are your thoughts about United Airlines wanting to make vaccines mandatory for its staff? Do you think this requirement would be a good move by the company? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.