Etihad Airways has announced that it has become “the first airline in the world with all its operating pilots and cabin crew vaccinated” as it helps curb the spread of COVID-19 and “give passengers who travel with the airline peace of mind.”
The announcement was made via press release on Wednesday (Feb. 10).
“We proactively made the vaccine available to all our employees to not only help combat the effects of COVID-19 but to make travellers feel confident and reassured the next time they fly with us,” stated Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer, Etihad Aviation Group. “We are the only airline in the world to make COVID-19 testing mandatory for every passenger and crew member before every flight and now, we’re the first airline in the world with 100% vaccinated crew on board.
Mr. Douglas said that he chose “very early on” to receive the vaccine.
“I chose very early on to be vaccinated to demonstrate my own support of the national vaccination programme and to encourage everyone at Etihad who was eligible for the vaccine, to receive it as soon as possible," he said.
The CEO went on to thank the entire Etihad family “for everything they have done to help us reach this milestone.”
“I am truly humbled,” he said.
The program was made possible through Etihad’s “Protected Together” employee vaccination initiative, which was launched in January this year, the company said.
Building on the UAE’s Choose to Vaccinate campaign, Protected Together is about helping staff take proactive, personal steps towards protecting themselves against COVID-19.
Etihad says it took “significant steps” towards supporting employees to receive a vaccine.
In collaboration with health authorities, the airline facilitated access for its frontline staff to the UAE’s Emergency Use Programme.
Etihad was one of the first employers in the capital to secure places for their frontline staff - including pilots and cabin crew – in Abu Dhabi’s vaccination programme.
Etihad says it also ensured the Etihad Airways Medical Centre became an accredited COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
The Protected Together initiative also includes virtual talks to connect staff with medical professionals and mobile clinics so employees could receive the vaccine at work.
“Following the national vaccination programme, we worked tirelessly to become an approved COVID-19 vaccination clinic to support our staff, and their dependants, be able to easily access the vaccine,” said Dr. Nadia Bastaki, Vice President Medical Services and CSR at Etihad Aviation Group. “Since December 2020, we have been offering in-house vaccination appointments to our employees and their loved ones to ensure we are focused on our employee’s wellbeing.”
Following the UAE Government’s target to vaccinate half of the UAE population by the end of March 2021, Etihad says it is ahead of schedule with more than 75% of its entire workforce already having received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“With even more activity still planned as part of the Protected Together initiative, this figure will continue to grow as more employees step forward and choose to vaccinate,” the company said.
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