Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines is the latest carrier to mandate Covid vaccinations for staff

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Key Points
  • Hawaiian Airlines employees will have to have received their final shot no later than Nov. 1.
  • United and Frontier issued vaccinate mandates last week.
  • More than a dozen U.S. corporations have issued vaccine mandates for all or some of their employees in recent weeks.

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Interisland travel in Hawaii via commercial flights or chartered airplanes is easy, though it can take more time than travelers expect.
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Hawaiian Airlines told U.S. staff they will be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19, becoming the third major carrier to issue such a mandate in less than a week.

CEO Peter Ingram told employees Monday that they must receive their second shot, if they are getting a two-dose vaccine, by Nov. 1, though there will be exceptions for medical or religious reasons, according to a staff memo reviewed by CNBC.

Last week, United Airlines became the country's first major carrier to mandate vaccines, requiring that its 67,000-person U.S. workforce show proof of inoculation by Oct. 25 at the latest. Frontier Airlines also announced that it will require that its employees be vaccinated against Covid by Oct. 1 or that they are regularly tested.

"It is not a decision I take lightly, and I would acknowledge that my own thinking on this has evolved over the last few months as I have watched this pandemic continue to take its terrible toll," Ingram said in his note. He said senior leadership "deliberated extensively" and consulted the board of directors.

"Safety is the foundation of air travel, and it is ingrained throughout our operation and service. This is no different," he said.

Most other U.S. airlines have encouraged but not mandated that staff get vaccinated. However, Delta Air Lines said in the spring that new hires would need to show proof of vaccination. United had followed suit several weeks later.

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly told employees Monday that United's announcement last week sparked questions from its own staff about the airline's stance.

"We continue to strongly encourage Employees to get vaccinated," Kelly said. "We are continually evaluating the effects of the pandemic. Obviously, I am very concerned about the latest Delta variant, and the effect on the health and Safety of our Employees and our operation, but nothing has changed."

More than a dozen large U.S. companies have issued vaccine mandates for all or some of their employees in recent weeks, some executives citing concerns about the fast-spreading delta variant of Covid.

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