Following an Executive Order issued by the federal government, requiring that all federal contractors have their staff vaccinated amid the pandemic, Alaska Airlines is mobilizing its workers to obtain vaccination certificates. As a contractor for the government, the Seattle-based carrier is required to have its employees vaccinated.
Alaska Airlines is offering a $200 payout to vaccinated employees when they upload proof of their full vaccination. Following the government announcement, which requires non-exempt workers to be vaccinated as soon as December 8th, the operator is extending the deadline to upload certificates from October 15th to December 1st.
Alaska Airlines notes that since the beginning of the global health crisis, the safety of its staff members and passengers has always been the priority. As a result, the carrier has invested considerably to educate its teams and encourage workers to get vaccinated.
Overall, the company is focused on protecting its network from the consequences of the virus. Therefore, it is yet again updating its pandemic response plan to take the new federal mandate into account.
A national presence
The airline has an extensive network across the United States in several different market segments. It also conducts notable jobs for the government. So, the carrier has to follow the likes of American Airlines and JetBlue with recent mandatory vaccination announcements.
“Since our company does significant work for the federal government, we have determined that Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and McGee employees – all part of Alaska Air Group – do fall under this federal vaccine mandate, along with other major U.S. airlines. This means all of our employees, including certain contractors and vendors, will be required to be fully vaccinated, or be approved for a reasonable accommodation such as medical conditions or religious beliefs that prevent them from being vaccinated,” an Alaska Airlines spokesperson told Simple Flying.
“The date by which employees must be fully vaccinated has not been confirmed by the government, but it could be as early at Dec. 8, 2021. That’s why we encourage all of our employees to begin the vaccination process as soon as possible, and to allow time for their vaccination regime to be fully completed.”
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Out of the major US carriers, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines are left to mandate vaccines. However, like their counterparts, they may find it hard not to follow suit with the recent national updates.
Nonetheless, aviation is by far not the only industry having to make such decisions. The new federal vaccine requirements may cover as many as 100 million US residents across numerous markets, which will unquestionably be a hot topic of debate in this next chapter.
What are your thoughts about airline staff vaccinations? What do you make of the updates in recent weeks? Let us know what you think of the overall situation in the comment section.