At a time when the Biden administration is ramping up pressure on major U.S. airlines to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue are joining United Airlines in demanding the injections for its employees.
In the United States, United Airlines announced on Thursday that 320 of its 67,000 employees might be terminated for failing to be immunised.
The White House coronavirus adviser Jeffrey Zients spoke with the CEOs of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Southwest Airlines regarding vaccination mandates. They agreed to speak anonymously since the conversations took place over private telephone lines.
President Joe Biden’s executive order requires firms with more than 100 employees to require staff vaccinations or weekly testing for the virus. Airlines are major employers that come under this directive.
These companies may be subject to a Dec. 8 deadline to enforce vaccine mandates without the option of testing, as they are also federal government contractors.
Due to their status as government contractors, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways stated Friday that they will begin requiring vaccinations for their personnel as early as Dec. 8.
Employees would no longer be able to choose between regular testing and masking and receiving the vaccination, Alaska Airlines informed them via letter.
Delta said that it was still assessing Biden’s request for a flight. Unvaccinated personnel will face fines and be subject to additional screening requirements, according to a statement from the airline. As a major employer, you’d pass the Biden test, but not as a federal contractor.
United Airlines was one of the first airlines to insist on employees becoming vaccinated. United Airlines announced on Thursday that 320 of its 67,000 U.S. workers face disciplinary action for failing to comply with a vaccination deadline or requesting a medical or religious exemption.
According to their respective press releases, American and Southwest are looking into Vice President Biden’s executive order. In all cases, the pilot groups are pressuring them to stop requiring vaccines and instead give a range of alternatives, including genetic testing.
A Reuters story earlier this week detailed phone talks between a White House advisor and airline chief executive officers.
When flying within the nation, passengers must have a negative result from an infectious disease test before they may board, according to government infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci. However, the Biden administration hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility, which is vehemently opposed by the aviation industry.