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COVID-19: QANTAS to mandate staff vaccination

COVID-19: QANTAS to mandate staff vaccination

Qantas has mandated that all staff be immunised against COVID-19, no later than March 31 March.

It has deadlines for various groups of workers, starting with frontline staff including crew, pilots and airport workers. They will need to be vaccinated by 15 November. The remaining staff have until the end of March 2022.

That’s around 20,000 staff including those currently stood down to get vaccinated in the next 7 months. Should be doable.


Qantas surveyed its employees earlier this year to get a handle on their attitudes.

It got a 60% – that’s 12,000 staff – response rate. 89% either have already been vaccinated or have plans to be. Only 4% were anti-jab, or unable to be immunised – whatever that reason is. Interestingly around 75% thought vaccination should be a requirement for employment, and would be concerned if others in their workplace were un-vaccinated.

a white airplane on a runway

Already a requirement

Many airline workers are already required to be vaccinated by state governments. That includes NSW, SA and across the dutch, NZ.

Many world airlines also have vaccination as a requirement for continued employment. As Alan Joyce demonstrates:

“One crew member can fly into multiple cities and come into contact with thousands of people in a single day. Making sure they are vaccinated given the potential of this virus to spread is so important and I think it’s the kind of safety leadership people would expect from us.”

Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO
a man in a suit standing in front of a plane

Self Interest

Mind you it’s not like Mr Joyce doesn’t have a stake in the suppression/elimination/living-with-the-virus strategy. As he says:

“It’s clear that vaccinations are the only way to end the cycle of lockdowns and border closures and for a lot of Qantas and Jetstar employees that means getting back to work again. This was one of the largest responses to any survey we’ve conducted, even with thousands of our people stood down, which shows just how important this is for them.

Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO

And getting-back-to-work also means getting back to profit for Qantas.

Customer support

Unsurprisingly, even customers support the move.

In a separate survey of only 1,000 customers, 92% made it clear they expect Qantas crew to be fully vaccinated. So in that sense, Qantas is only meeting customer expectations. Wish they would do that in more areas!

a green card with white text and yellow letters

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

Qantas unsurprisingly, with the support of its employees and customers is going for mandating vaccination for its employees.

The next step will be mandatory vaccinations in order to fly. Mark my words. And that move will have my full support.

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