MIAMI – On the heels of several other airlines, Qantas (QF) now requires employees to get full vaccines unless having a valid reason not to do so.

The measure applies to all front-line personnel, from crews to airport workers, and will have to be completed by November 15 while the remainder of QF personnel shall be fully vaccinated by March 31, 2022. Exemptions are possible for those who cannot comply but only against documented medical reasons, an occurrence deemed to be very rare.

Before taking this step, the airline consulted both QF and Jetstar (JQ) personnel with a survey covering 22,000 people in order to obtain a large number of views and opinions on the measure. QF received a total of 12,000 responses, one of the largest surveys on COVID-19 issues in Australia.

The results were overwhelmingly in favor of the vaccination with 89% of the surveyed being already vaccinated or planning to be, 4% unable or unwilling to take it while around three quarters deemed vaccination to be a requirement for all employees and expressed concern over the possibility of being in contact with non-vaccinated colleagues at the workplace.

Jetstar Airbus 320-200 VH-VGV – Photo: Noah Pitkins/Airways

Comments from Qantas Group CEO

While announcing the measure, Alan Joyce, QF Group CEO, indicated that “having a fully vaccinated workforce will safeguard our people against the virus but also protect our customers and the communities we fly to.”

"We provide an essential service, so this will help guard against the disruptions that can be caused by just one positive COVID-case shutting down a freight facility or airport terminal." Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO Click To Tweet

Alan Joyce continues in his explanation on the policy adopted by QF by, adding, “One crew member can fly into multiple cities and come into contact with thousands of people in a single day. Making sure they are vaccinated given the potential of this virus to spread is so important and I think it’s the kind of safety leadership people would expect from us.”

A survey carried out among 1,000 QF customers, has shown that 92% of them expect QF crews to be fully vaccinated. Discussions will continue with employees, health and safety representatives, and unions on the details of the measure including under which conditions medical exemptions would be granted.

Image from Qantas Press release

Article source: Qantas Press Release

Featured image: Qantas Boeing 737-800 VH-VXB. Photo: Aidan Pullino/Airways