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Qantas (ASX:QAN) to make COVID vaccine mandatory for passengers

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Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) will make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for international passengers, according to its chief executive.

Qantas boss, Alan Joyce, told A Current Affair on Monday night that the airline is currently looking at adding a clause to its terms and conditions to “ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft”.

“Certainly, for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country, we think that’s a necessity.”

Whether the rule would apply to domestic flights would depend on how the coronavirus situation evolves within the country.

Joyce expected Qantas wouldn’t be alone in requiring proof of vaccination as a condition of carriage.

“Talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe, I think it’s going to be a common theme,” he said.

“What we’re looking at is how you can have a vaccination passport, an electronic version of it, that certifies what the vaccine is. Is it acceptable to the country that you’re travelling to?”

International travel will return next year

With 3 different vaccines now showing promise, Joyce was excited to think international travel might be making a big comeback.

“We’re optimistic we could see the borders opening up significantly throughout 2021.”

While Australia’s international border has been shut, Qantas has been making government-organised repatriation flights to bring Australians home.

And these operations have allowed it to implement anti-virus measures, such as COVID testing passengers before and after they board.

“We’re testing the wastewater on the plane as well,” Joyce said.

The airline’s executive spoke as the usually busy Sydney-Melbourne route reopened on Monday.

He is hoping that, by Christmas, 60% of pre-COVID business will have returned.

“If we can get Melbourne and Sydney back to where it was pre-COVID that will be 3000 people that didn’t have a role… that are working for the airline again.”

The news came as the Transport Workers’ Union has made a last-minute pitch to save 2,400 ground crew jobs from being outsourced.

Qantas’ relationship with the union requires the latter to have a chance to bid for the work alongside outsourcing companies. The Australian Financial Review reported Tuesday that the TWU had finally made its submission last week.

The Qantas share price closed Monday’s session 1.71% higher at $5.36.

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Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo owns shares of Qantas Airways Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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