No jab, no fly: Air NZ to require passengers to be fully vaccinated

Author
Derek Cheng, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 3 Oct 2021, 11:50AM
Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran says from February 2022, international passengers can only fly if they are fully vaccinated. (Photo / NZME)
Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran says from February 2022, international passengers can only fly if they are fully vaccinated. (Photo / NZME)

No jab, no fly: Air NZ to require passengers to be fully vaccinated

Author
Derek Cheng, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 3 Oct 2021, 11:50AM

Air New Zealand will require all adult international passengers to be fully vaccinated from February 1 next year.

People 18 and younger and those who can't take the vaccine for medical reasons will be exempt, Air NZ chief executive Greg Foran says.

The airline's customer-facing staff need to be vaccinated, which includes about 75 per cent of all of its staff, he said.

Foran told TVNZ the airline was still at a "wait and see" stage for whether domestic passengers will need to be fully vaccinated next year, but it was on the table.

Staff and customers had told the airline that safety was paramount, he said.

"Increasingly we may be in a situation where people need to be vaccinated to get into particular events."

He said it was "exciting" to hear about Australia's plans to open up international travel.

Foran said the current outbreak was a "really difficult situation", which had hit Air NZ as well as other businesses - but lockdowns were a matter for the Government.

"At a point next year we're going to be getting these borders open and people are going to be able to travel overseas.

"Being vaccinated against Covid-19 is the new reality of international travel – many of the destinations Kiwis want to visit are already closed to unvaccinated visitors. The quicker we get vaccinated, the sooner we can fly Kiwis to places like New York, Vancouver and Narita."

He said Air NZ was working on rolling out the International Air Transport Associations (IATA) Travel Pass app, which would let travellers know what they needed before travelling.

The IATA Travel Pass will check customers' health information against flight details to ensure they are meeting entry requirements for that destination, and the airline.

The app is based on decentralised technology which means there is no central database holding passenger information. Passengers have complete discretion as to whether they share their data or not and they can delete their data at any time on the app, without fear of this being stored.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced last week that the borders will open up in November.

Australians who are fully vaccinated will be able to travel abroad and complete a seven-day quarantine at home on their return. People who are not vaccinated will be required to undertake 14 days of quarantine at a hotel when they return.

Morrison said he expects the first home quarantine systems to be up and running in November, but the timetable will be set by individual states and territories.

There was no timetable yet on when non-Australians would be allowed to enter Australia.