Given the cuts to their route networks, British airlines are currently faced with a surplus of staff. While they may not be flying, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet are still putting them to good use, aiding in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom.
Unfortunately, until the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control, the aviation industry looks set to continue to suffer. The main tools being used by governments to control the virus are hard lockdowns and travel bans. Understandably, these aren’t great for the travel industry. However, there is hope that the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines will help the industry’s recovery.
Airlines doing their part
With airlines set to benefit from the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is in their interests that the rollout goes as quickly as possible. As such, major British airlines are signing their grounded crews up to help with the process of distributing COVID-19 vaccines across the UK.
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Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to get involved in the effort, yesterday revealing that its crew would be involved in the effort from actually giving the vaccine to patient welfare and managing logistics systems. It makes sense to get involved. After all, many staff members are currently not flying, and cabin crew must undergo medical training as a part of their general training.
easyJet also joins in
Today UK low-cost carrier easyJet announced that it would also be aiding the NHS as it seeks to roll out the three COVID-19 vaccinations currently approved in the UK. The easyJet crew who choose to apply for the program will be fast-tracked to become trained in giving vaccinations.
They will undertake online training before on-site training that will allow them to become fully qualified in vaccine administration. easyJet expects that hundreds of its staff will become involved with the program.
Commenting on the opportunity, Katy Bryant, a Luton based cabin crew member with easyJet said,
“As cabin crew we are in a great position to support the vaccination effort because of the first aid and safety-focused training we receive for our job, so I am sure I will be joined by many of my fellow cabin crew at easyJet who will want to support the NHS in the vital roll-out of the vaccine across the country.”
Not the first time helping out
This isn’t the first time that the aviation industry has come together to help the National Health Service since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. The crew from across the industry came together during the first wave to offer their services to the community. Over 1,500 members from British Airways gave up their time helping out, including volunteering for the St John’s Ambulance Service.
Are you pleased to see airline staff helping out with the vaccination effort? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!