Who would’ve thought airlines would be the biggest cheerleaders for the new COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, the aviation industry is pushing hardest for anything that will bring back customers and restore trust in flying.
Qantas got the ball rolling last month when its CEO declared airlines across the world should consider enforcing “no-vaccination no-fly” policies to get people flying again.
In response to the Qantas announcement, Delta said it would launch new testing protocols for COVID as part of an effort to eliminate the need for quarantining.
Then, American Airlines unveiled its new software app called VeriFLY, to streamline travel requirements due to COVID restrictions.
Also entering the field were the airline lobbyists, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) with a “digital health passport” that would allow travelers to store vaccination and testing information required by airlines and governments. IATA said this mobile app will be free to passengers and will gain revenue from a small cost to airlines.
Asian governments followed suit with AirAsia and KoreanAir spokespersons agreeing the vaccine requirement will become a trend in Asia and a condition for lifting quarantine requirements. Air New Zealand agreed, but will work closely with authorities.
Is this just a PR motivated move? Or will vaccines be mandatory for all international flyers?
This concept is nothing new. It has been going on for years.
Every country around the world requires airlines to check that a passenger meets the entry requirements before accepting the customer, and verifying for vaccinations among other things. Evidence of vaccination has been a requirement for passengers to enter a number of countries. So nothing has changed, the concept is nothing new, it will just simply be another requirement the airline will have to comply with.