Cathay Pacific tells crew to get vaccinated or risk their job

Cathay Pacific informed pilots and flight attendants that they will be being reviewed by the airline and may be fired if they do not have a COVID-19 vaccination by August. This policy shift represents a significant change in the Hong Kong-based airline's attitude to vaccines. Previously, they encouraged but didn't require inoculation.Cathay Pacific spokesperson said that they understand that some people (aircrew members) will not be able to take the vaccine. They will also look into accommodating them temporarily if necessary.We will however review the future employment opportunities of those who cannot get vaccinated, and determine if they are still eligible to work as Cathay Pacific aircrew.According to the airline, around 90% of pilots were already vaccinated against COVID-19. Around 66% of cabin crew had had the jab or booked an appointment to get vaccinated.Since early June, Cathay Pacific tried to get cabin crew to get vaccinated with a contest for frequent flyer points and other goodies. The result was around 15% increase in the number of people willing to receive the vaccine.Cathay also offers a pre-vaccination health check for no cost to staff in order to allay any fears they may have about the vaccine.South China Morning Press first reported the policy change. It is believed that the airline was having difficulty rostering flights with both vaccinated or non-vaccinated staff.Hong Kong has some the most stringent quarantine regulations in the world. However, the rules have been relaxed for those who are vaccinated. A fully vaccinated cabin crew is required to fly to certain high-risk areas and on quarantine-free travel bubbles.Etihad Airways was the first airline to have all of its pilots and cabin crew fully vaccinated in February. The Abu Dhabi-based airline had previously advised staff to get vaccinated if they contract COVID-19.Emirates in Dubai are not required to immunize staff. However, crew members who do not wish to be vaccinated due to medical reasons or because they cannot afford it must pay for regular PCR testing.United Airlines announced earlier this week that only vaccinated flight attendants will be permitted to work on flights to high-risk destinations. The new rules will be in effect for pilots and flight attendants who will work on flights to India and Brazil.