Air Canada has announced a mandatory Vaccination Policy for all its Employees and New Hires in order to ‘further protect employees and customers’. With this, Air Canada has become the second Canadian airline to mandate vaccination for all employees after Porter Airlines. Porter Airlines will require its all employees to be fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test administered within 72 hours of the start of their shift as of 18th September 2021.
The newly introduced policy requires all employees of the airline to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to report their vaccination status as of 30th October 2021. In addition, the airline is making full vaccination a condition of employment for any individual hired by the company.
After a slow start, the ranks of airlines making workforce COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory is swelling. Just yesterday, IH Aviation and Travel reported that SWISS International Airlines is mandating employee vaccination. Other airlines taking a compulsory workforce COVID-19 vaccination stance include United Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Frontier Airlines.
Air Canada, in a statement, said:
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Air Canada has been a leader in the adoption of science-based measures in response to COVID-19. The decision to require all employees of Air Canada mainline, Air Canada Rouge, and Air Canada Vacations to be fully vaccinated and report their vaccination status is another initiative to ensure the safety and well-being of all employees and customers.
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The decision from the airline comes as Canada cautiously reopens its borders. In response, the airline has scaled up its North American flying. The airline recently announced 55 routes and 34 destinations in the US, with up to 220 daily flights between the US and Canada.
Further from the country, Air Canada also announced the resumption of 17 routes to 11 destinations across the Atlantic. With the expanded schedule comes the problem of negotiating differing vaccination requirements in each country Air Canada flies to.
As Air Canada increases its flying, the health risks to its workforce also rise. Two-thirds of Canada’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But that leaves millions of unvaccinated Canadians able to board local Air Canada flights.
Air Canada’s vaccination policy is due to the Canadian government Canada’s Government requires all employees in the federally regulated air, rail, and marine transportation sectors to be vaccinated by the end of October 2021. Air Canada says testing will not be offered to its workforce as an alternative to vaccinations.
An official statement by Air Canada reads:
While Air Canada will fulfill its duties to accommodate employees who for valid reasons, such as medical conditions, cannot be vaccinated, failure to be fully vaccinated by October 30, 2021, will have consequences.
Except for those who qualify for accommodation, the airline notes consequences include enforced unpaid leave and termination.
Meanwhile, Air Canada recently announced resumption of 17 international routes and also inaugurated a new route between Montreal and Cairo. The airline has also launched a simplified solution to upload COVID-19 related travel documents. Air Canada has announced that it will have up to 220 daily flights between Canada and the United States as Canada is reopening to fully vaccinated Americans in August. The airline has also announced two new routes to Florida and increased flights to Mexico and the Dominican Republic from Quebec City.
Featured image by JetPhotos
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