Around 96% of the airline’s employees got vaccinated when the measure was implemented.
Hawaiian Airlines will become the last US carrier to drop the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for its employees, starting on October 1. This means some 7,053 current employees of the airline won't have to be vaccinated to work.
Hawaiian Airlines is looking to leave the COVID-19 pandemic behind and announced this week, in an internal message to its employees, that they won't have to be vaccinated to work. This also opens up an opportunity for some 200 workers who chose to go on unpaid leave rather than be vaccinated. According to Alex Da Silva, a Hawaiian spokesman, as reported by local media outlets, these employees will now be able to return to the company without getting vaccines or going through the hiring process for new employees.
When Hawaiian first introduced this measure, fewer than 100 employees decided to terminate their working relationship with the carrier. While they don't have the possibility to return to their original positions, they can apply to come back to the company, the airline has said.
The removal of the COVID-19 vaccination as a requirement for employment is effective starting on October 1. Around 96% of the airline's employees got vaccinated by January 5, 2022, the date when the policy took effect. Hawaiian ended 2019 with 7,437 employees and currently has a little more than 7,000 workers.
Hawaiian President and CEO Peter Ingram said a variety of factors led Hawaiian to introduce its COVID-19 vaccination policy in the first place, “including the level of cases in the places we serve, pressure on health care resources, and the damage COVID had inflicted on our business.”
Nonetheless, “while we are removing the requirement, vaccinations are highly effective at preventing severe illness, and we encourage all employees to stay up to date,” Ingram added.
COVID-19 vaccination is a hot topic, and Ingram acknowledged that some employees will be unhappy about Hawaiian Airlines dropping the requirement, just as some other workers were angry that it was announced in the first place last year. He said the requirement has been “an emotional and divisive issue within our team.”
The airline industry in the United States is strongly rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) just broke the pre-pandemic holiday screening record, screening about 8.7 million travelers during Labor Day weekend (versus 8.2 million in 2019).
For Hawaiian Airlines, this also means a unique opportunity to move forward, leaving behind the worst two years in aviation history. During 2022's second quarter, Hawaiian Airlines posted a US$36.8 million net loss for the second quarter of 2022.
Nonetheless, the airline registered strong demand in its domestic markets and an encouraging recovery from its international gateways, said Peter Ingram.

“As we move into the summer travel peak, every indication suggests a continuation of these positive trends. I am extremely proud of our team, who continue to deliver the industry's best reliability and service as we pursue our mission to connect people with aloha."
The company is also looking to take delivery of ten Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger jets. Therefore, Hawaiian Airlines is aggressively recruiting crew and staff to operate and maintain the plane, said Da Silva.
Do you think Hawaiian Airlines should have kept the obligatory COVID vaccine requirement for employees? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Yahoo and Civilbeat.
Lead Journalist – South America – Daniel comes to Simple Flying with many years of aviation journalism experience, having worked with Mexican publication A21, Roads & Kingdoms, El Economista and more. His degree in journalism allows him to form beautifully crafted and insightful pieces. His specialist knowledge of Latin American airlines and close relationship with the likes of Aeromexico, Avianca, Volaris brings depth to our coverage in the region. Based in Mexico City, Mexico.

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U.S. COVID cases continue to skyrocket and disruptions abound as 2022 begins – NPR

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