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CAPA - Centre for Aviation

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Asia-Pacific Airlines Look to Enforce Staff Vaccination Mandates

A growing number of Asia-Pacific airlines are introducing requirements and deadlines for their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, such moves can obviously cause contractual and legal headaches, prompting some carriers to proceed more cautiously, or in other cases to avoid pursuing vaccination mandates.

From an airline perspective, there are multiple reasons why a vaccinated workforce is desirable. Carriers often have no choice due to government requirements for certain employee groups. It also gives them more operational flexibility and helps protect their staff and customers. Few other industries have the same proportion of employees that need to move across borders and within countries, even when other businesses are locked down.

One of the key questions that airlines must confront is what happens to workers that do not want to be vaccinated, or are medically unable to do so. Many airlines are grappling with this issue as they formulate their vaccination policies.


  • Cathay Pacific is assessing role of unvaccinated crew as deadline passes
  • Malaysia AirlinesSingapore Airlines are among others with crew mandates
  • Union criticizes Qantas vaccine mandate, calls for more alternatives
  • Virgin Australia, Air NZ considering setting vaccination deadlines
  • Japanese and Korean major carriers are not imposing vaccination mandates

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