Wizz Air will require ALL flight crews to be vaccinated against Covid

Wizz Air will require ALL flight crews to be vaccinated against Covid

September 1, 2021

Wizz Air will require ALL flight crews to be vaccinated against Covid by December, low-cost Hungarian airline announces

  • Wizz Air is the second European airline to make jabs compulsory after SWISS
  • Airlines says measure ensures ‘smooth and continued operations of its flights’ 
  • European airlines have been slower than US counterparts in mandating jabs 

Wizz Air has become the second airline in Europe to require its flight crews to be vaccinated against Covid.

The airline, which serves 11 UK airports, said it is implementing the policy for all pilots and cabin crew by December as part of its commitment to ‘protecting the health and safety of its passengers and crews’.

The Hungary-based carrier added that the measure will support ‘smooth and continued operations of its flights in the long term’.

In ‘special cases’, staff will be permitted to take ‘regular’ antigen or PCR tests rather than be vaccinated, but did not confirm in which cases this could occur.

European airlines have been slower to adopt mandatory vaccination than their American counterparts.

Vaccine requirements differ drastically between the UK and US, where companies across all sectors have been quicker to demand workers are double-jabbed.

Wizz Air has become the second airline in Europe to require its flight crews to be vaccinated against Covid

The airline, which serves 11 UK airports, said it is implementing the policy for all pilots and cabin crew by December as part of its commitment to ‘protecting the health and safety of its passengers and crews’. Pictured: Karen Wright is vaccinated at Adwick Leisure Centre in Doncaster

Wizz Air Group chief executive Jozsef Varadi said: ‘At Wizz Air, our number one priority is the health and safety of our passengers and employees.

‘We have a responsibility to protect crew and passengers on board by mitigating the risks of Covid-19, and vaccines play a vital role in this.’ 

It follows Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), which was the first European carrier to announce it would making jabs mandatory for staff last Tuesday.

The company announced the measure — which will begin from November 15 — after countries including Hong Kong said they would demand proof of vaccination from flight crews.

SWISS said: ‘Some destinations and regions could no longer be served, and this in turn would seriously diminish the effectiveness of the SWISS hub system.’

European airlines have been slower to adopt mandatory vaccination than their American counterparts. Pictured: The NHS app where travellers can show their vaccination record

Few British workers are currently required to take a vaccine to keep their job, with most companies preferring to encourage rather than enforce inoculation.

Jet2 and Virgin Atlantic’s bosses have both previously said compulsory vaccination for flight staff remains unlikely.

Speaking at  Airlines UK event in February, Virgin Atlantic chief executive Shai Weiss said the company would continue to explain the merits of vaccination to employees rather than sacking those who refuse to have one.

Which companies are making vaccines mandatory in the US for some workers? 

  • Amtrak
  • Anthem
  • BlackRock
  • Cisco
  • Citigroup
  • CVS Health
  • Deloitte 
  • Delta Air Lines
  • DoorDash
  • Equinox
  • Facebook
  • Ford
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Google
  • Jefferies
  • Lyft
  • McDonald’s 
  • MGM Resorts International 
  • Microsoft
  • Morgan Stanley
  • NBCUniversal
  • Netflix
  • The New York Times
  • Saks
  • Salesforce 
  • TJX
  • Twitter
  • Tyson Foods
  • Uber
  • Union Square Hospitality Group
  • United Airlines
  • ViacomCBS
  • Walgreens
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Walmart
  • The Washington Post 

He said: ‘My personal view is that the individual’s right to govern their own body is essential.

‘We will do everything we can to promote [vaccination], and explain the merits of being vaccinated for yourself and for your loved ones and for society as a whole.

‘But before we take that extra step and say “If you don’t have a jab you don’t have a job,” I think that’s a step too far.’ 

Pimlico Plumbers became one of the outliers in February when it announced a ‘no jab, no job’ policy.

Boss Charlie Mullins said all new starters at his £50million business would have to take a Covid jab to get a job.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps in July said it was a ‘good idea’ for some companies to insist on double vaccination for staff returning to the workplace. 

He told Sky News: ‘We are not going to make that legislation that every adult has to be double vaccinated before they go back to the office, but yes it is a good idea and yes some companies will require it.’

In contrast, scores of American companies have already begun insisting staff take both doses of a Covid vaccine.

Major airlines including Delta and United have made inoculations requirements of work, while tech giants including Netflix, Google and Microsoft will all ask staff to have both jabs before they return to the office.

In Australia, Qantas and Virgin Australia both announced they will be making jabs compulsory.

Virgin Australia wants all frontline workers to be fully vaccinated against Covid by mid-November, joining Qantas in a push for mandatory inoculation.

Virgin announced consultation will begin shortly with employees and unions about a proposal requiring all frontline workers to get vaccinated by November 15 and all office-based staff by March 31, 2022.

Those with medical issues ‘that can be substantiated’ will be managed on a case-by-case basis, Virgin said in a statement.

Virgin Australia chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said the vaccination policy was ‘vital’ in keeping its workforce safe.

‘The majority of our team at Virgin Australia are already vaccinated, and we will be listening to our team members to ensure we find the best fit policy for our organisation,’ she said.

‘We will now commence discussing the proposed vaccination requirement in detail with our team through our internal safety committees, unions and other appropriate forums.

‘It is clear that vaccination is the only way back to normal freedom of movement and the richness in life that comes from spending meaningful, in person time with family, friends and colleagues.’

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