Virgin Australia will make vaccination mandatory for all staff, in a move which adjusts the challenger aircraft’s position to that of Qantas.
The two airlines have taken on a similar timetable, with pilots, cabin crew and airport-based representatives – including those at checkin desks and lounges – needed to be fully vaccinated by 15 November 2021.
Any remaining office-based staff will have until 31 March 2022 to accept their punches, albeit Virgin says that “short extensions” will be conceivable in conditions where the accessibility of vaccine has been restricted, like geographical region and individual qualification.
Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said that while most of colleagues are now immunized and support the policy, the airline will proceed with its data program with medical.
“This is the right policy for the extraordinary times we live in and is a decision that will keep our people safe,” said Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka.
“We know this will be difficult for some of our people, but we have a responsibility to do our part to protect our people, the community and our way of life. Vaccination is the way to do that.”
While Qantas will likewise require travelers on most abroad flights to be fully vaccinated in a ‘no jab, no fly’ approach, Virgin Australia’s organization of essentially domestic routes for certain flights to New Zealand makes this less an issue – albeit New Zealand is probably going to necessitate that all guests be vaccinated once trans-Tasman travel returns.
“We also remain supportive of any government-led measures to ensure travellers are vaccinated,” Hrdlicka added.
As recently revealed, Virgin is currently offering its fully-vaccinated Velocity Frequent Flyer individuals the opportunity to win anything from 1,000,000 Velocity focuses to a pair of business class pyjamas.
The full prize pool in the airline’s vaccination incentive scheme is esteemed at $150,000 and runs out as follows:
one million Velocity points
50 return economy flights with Virgin Australia
25 return business class flights with Virgin Australia
30 Virgin Australia lounge memberships
10 x 100,000 Velocity Points
50 x 10,000 Velocity Points
85 pairs of Virgin Australia PJs
“Vaccination is our way back to the things we love and the people we miss, and most importantly, it’s the only way we can protect the lives and livelihoods of all Australians,” espouses Hrdlicka.