Airlines close to reaching fully vaccinated flight crews

·3 min read

AIRLINE carriers in the Philippines are now fast-tracking the vaccination of their flight crews in a bid to boost confidence and offer a safer flying environment for their passengers.

Ninety-five percent of Cebu Pacific (CEB) flying pilots and cabin crew have been vaccinated as of Aug. 30, 2021 while 90 percent of Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) flight crew (pilots and cabin crew) and 91 percent of its ground staff have been fully vaccinated as of Aug. 31.

AirAsia Philippines’ flying crew, on the other hand, is now a hairline towards the 100 percent mark on its Covid-19 vaccination campaign.

The airline said 213 out of the 217 or 98 percent of its cabin crew roster have been vaccinated while 106 out of 109 or 98 percent of the pilots have also taken the Covid-19 shot. Meanwhile, 92 percent of the airline’s guest services (check-in counter and boarding gate staff) and 100 percent of the ramp agents have received their vaccine shots.

“On vaccination efforts, the Lucio Tan Group has spearheaded a vaccination drive for all employees. Others secured their vaccinations through their respective local government units,” PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said.

CEB reported it is on track to completing its employee inoculation by October this year while PAL aims to complete its vaccination by end-September.

“In AirAsia, we believe that having a fully vaccinated workforce will protect our people against Covid-19 as well as safeguard our guests and the communities we fly to. We are happy to achieve our target vaccination this August,” said AirAsia Philippines chief executive Ricky Isla in a statement.

“We are always excited to share updates about our very own vaccination initiative because health and safety are on top of everyone’s minds now. It is our pleasure to keep doing what we can to ensure that our own people are protected, so our passengers will also be able to fly worry-free with us,” said Felix Lopez, vice president for People Department at Cebu Pacific.

Travel survey

Meanwhile, a recent survey conducted by AirAsia Philippines revealed that a whopping 91.4 percent of the passengers feel more comfortable flying with fully vaccinated crew. The airline surveyed 1,463 passengers bound for Bohol, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu and Davao during the month of July.

When it comes to the use of vaccination cards, 1,256 or 78.5 percent of the guests said such should be considered in lieu of testing requirements such as RT-PCR and Antigen tests. However, 342 passengers did not believe that vaccination cards are enough. Some passengers said a vaccine passport issued by the Bureau of Quarantine would be more credible than the different vaccination cards issued by various local government units.

“AirAsia is in the process of developing an app similar to the vaccine passport that would help the government in promoting fast, efficient and contactless requirement portals. The app will also eliminate the proliferation of fake RT-PCR results and vaccination cards,” said Steve Dailisan, AirAsia Philippines’ spokesperson.

Travel requirements during this time of pandemic have also taken a toll not only on airline companies but also on travelers.

Some 1,443 or 90.1 percent of AirAsia guests think that lower costs for requirements for fully vaccinated individuals will encourage more people to fly. (JOB, KOC)

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