Etihad Airways has become the first airline in the world to only operate flights with pilots and cabin crew who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The airline says that this will help curb the spread of COVID-19 and give passengers peace of mind.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, commented: “We proactively made the vaccine available to all our employees to not only help combat the effects of COVID-19 but to make travellers feel confident and reassured the next time they fly with us. We are the only airline in the world to make COVID-19 testing mandatory for every passenger and crew member before every flight and now, we’re the first airline in the world with 100% vaccinated crew on board.
“I chose very early on to be vaccinated to demonstrate my own support of the national vaccination programme and to encourage everyone at Etihad who was eligible for the vaccine, to receive it as soon as possible. I would like to thank the entire Etihad family for everything they have done to help us reach this milestone – I am truly humbled.”
Last month, the airline launched a ‘Protected Together’ employee vaccination initiative to help its staff “take proactive, personal steps towards protecting themselves against COVID-19”.
The initiative also includes virtual talks to connect staff with leading medical professionals, mobile clinics so employees can receive the vaccine at work, and staff are provided access to simple and clear vaccine information.
In 2020, Etihad took significant steps towards supporting employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In collaboration with the health authorities, the airline facilitated access for its frontline staff to the UAE’s Emergency Use Programme. Etihad was one of the first employers in the capital to secure places for its frontline staff – including pilots and cabin crew – in Abu Dhabi’s vaccination programme. The airline has also ensured that the Etihad Airways Medical Centre became an accredited COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
Dr. Nadia Bastaki, Vice President Medical Services and CSR, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Following the national vaccination programme, we worked tirelessly to become an approved COVID-19 vaccination clinic to support our staff, and their dependants, be able to easily access the vaccine. Since December 2020, we have been offering in-house vaccination appointments to our employees and their loved ones to ensure we are focused on our employee’s wellbeing.”
Etihad has also stated that it is ahead of schedule with over 75% of its entire workforce already having received at least one dose of the vaccine.