A ‘no jab, no fly’ policy is being imposed by Air New Zealand as the airline prepares for a return of international travel.
The carrier will require passengers flying anywhere on its international network to be fully vaccinated from February 1, 2022.
Chief executive Greg Foran said: “We’re getting ready to reconnect with the world and letting customers know what they need to do to be ready to take off when we can.
“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 added: “We’ve been hearing from both customers and employees that this measure is important to them. It came through loud and clear in our recent consultation process with employees and we want to do everything we can to protect them.
“Mandating vaccination on our international flights will give both customers and employees the peace of mind that everyone onboard meets the same health requirements as they do.”
The requirements will sit alongside measures the airline already has to keep New Zealand safe.
Foran added: “It’s not just customers who will be required to be vaccinated – it’s everyone on board an Air New Zealand aircraft travelling internationally, adding to the health and safety measures we already have in place. Another tool in our toolbox.
“As with anything, there will be some that disagree. However, we know this is the right thing to do to protect our people, our customers and the wider New Zealand community.
“We’ll spend the next few months making sure we get this right, ensuring it works as smoothly as possible for our customers. This also gives anyone wanting to travel from next year plenty of time to get their vaccination.
“To take some of the friction out of the travel experience and to help our customers know exactly what they need to travel before even getting to the airport, we’re continuing to work on rolling out the Iata Travel Pass app.”