Virgin Atlantic will not hire new cabin crew and pilots not fully vaccinated against Covid

The airline is introducing the strict new policy to ensure the safety of customers and staff

Virgin Atlantic will not hire any new cabin crew or pilots who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

The strict new policy is to protect the flight programme, “alongside the significant benefits to public health,” the airline said.

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What has the airline said?

The airline has said the policy is in line with other global airlines and will ensure the continued safety of customers and staff.

A spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic said: “To ensure the continued health, safety and protection of our customers and people and to take advantage of the benefits of the UK’s world-leading vaccination programme, we will require any cabin crew or pilots joining the business to be vaccinated.

“This is in line with other global airlines, including our partners at Delta.

“We know vaccination is the best way out of this pandemic and appreciate that the vaccination level of our workforce is very high.

“We’re committed to ensuring our customers and our teams fly safe and well and look forward to welcoming more of our pilots and cabin crew back to the skies.”“We know vaccination is the best way out of this pandemic and appreciate that the vaccination level of our workforce is very high.”

The rules will only apply to new staff, but the airline has said existing workers are strongly encourages to get vaccinated, although this is not compulsory.

The spokeswoman noted that fully vaccinated UK travellers will be permitted to enter the US from November, while destinations such as Hong Kong and Pakistan require crews to have had both doses of a coronavirus jab.

What about other airlines?

Hungarian airline Wizz Air announced earlier this month that it will require its flight crews to be vaccinated by December.

However, other airlines are allowing employees to make a personal choice over whether to get vaccinated.

British Airways is allowing staff to decide for themselves whether to get jabbed, while EasyJet is encouraging its flight crew to get vaccinated, but this is not a mandatory requirement.

Currently in the UK it is only the law to be vaccinated for those working in care homes, unless workers are medically exempt.

Conciliation service Acas says there is no other law in the UK that requires people to have the vaccine “even if an employer would prefer someone to have it”.

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