“We have been actively conducting vaccination drives. We plan to vaccinate our eligible Allstars (AirAsia India staff) by mid-October,” said a spokesperson for the airline.
Currently, the airline operates around 110-120 daily flights - around 55-60 per cent of its capacity. The civil aviation ministry allows airlines to operate up to 85 per cent of their capacity.
Vistara said almost 80 per cent of its 4,000-strong workforce is fully vaccinated.
“We are looking at getting everyone fully vaccinated by December-end. This is also in line with our policy of advising employees to receive the second dose by January 1, 2022,” said a spokesperson.
Vistara has also released a staff vaccination policy. Employees who do not take doses by December-end will need to undergo a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test or a rapid antigen test every week to be allowed at work.
Globally, airlines have taken varied approaches towards employee vaccination.
In August, Atlanta-headquartered Delta asked its staff to pay an extra $200 towards a health care plan from November in case they choose not to get vaccinated. Last week, the airline said its employee vaccination rate increased to 82 per cent after announcing the surcharge.
Cathay Pacific told its Hong Kong-based staff their future with the company would be subject to “review” if they have not been fully vaccinated by end of August.
On the other hand, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has taken a flexible stance and will not compel its staff to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. Taking a vaccine is a personal choice, it said.
Dubai’s Emirates strongly encourages crew to get vaccinated, which is free, or else pay for regular testing themselves, pointing to the “operational” as well as “health and safety” hazards of an unvaccinated workforce.
Australia's Qantas Airways also requires its staff to be fully vaccinated by March 2022 and finalised its policy after an employee survey.
"Getting double vaccinated is important for the safety of all of our staff. Nearly 100 per cent of our 35,000 staff (including those from ground handling subsidiary Agile) have received one dose and 55 per cent have got both doses. Vaccination drive is in full swing and we expect to fully vaccinate our entire staff by November-end," said Raj Raghavan, senior vice-president (human resources), IndiGo.
Executives from Air India, GoFirst, and SpiceJet said most of their staff is vaccinated, but did not divulge the specifics.