Qantas’s Alan Joyce expects governments ‘to insist’ on vaccines for flying
Qantas Chief Executive, Alan Joyce has suggested that governments around the world will insist on Coronavirus vaccines for travellers when international borders reopen.
In an interview with the BBC, Sydney-based Joyce advised that "governments are going to insist" on vaccines for international travellers as "a condition of entry".
And with Coronavirus vaccines seen as crucial to reviving an industry that saw worldwide passenger numbers fall 75.6% last year, Joyce suggested that if governments don’t demand vaccinations airlines should enforce its own policy.
In an interview broadcast as part of the Talking Business with Aaron Heslehurst program, Joyce advised “we have a duty of care to our passengers and to our crew, to say that everybody in that aircraft needs to be safe”, which he believes would justify changing the terms and conditions under which tickets are booked.
Feeling that passengers would be willing to accept the change, Joyce commented “the vast majority of our customers think this is a great idea - 90% of people that we've surveyed think it should be a requirement for people to be vaccinated to travel internationally."
However, Joyce (pictured) is mindful of influential voices who disagree with his view, including the World Health Organization (WHO) officials.
The WHO Director of Digital Health and Innovation, Bernardo Mariano, told the BBC “we don't approve the fact that a vaccinations passport should be a condition for travel."
Even with vaccines, Joyce thinks that "once we open up our international borders, we're going to have the virus circulating and that's going to be a big change for a lot of Australia, to find that acceptable.
"We need people to understand they can't have zero risk with this virus. We manage risk in so many different other ways for other parts of life."
The lack of passengers means that in the last six months of 2020 Qantas lost $1.03 billion, compared to a profit of $771 million in the same period of 2019.
The pandemic has also seen 8,500 job cuts from a pre-pandemic staff of about 29,000 with many of the remaining staff on furlough
Alan Joyce was interviewed on Talking Business with Aaron Heslehurst on BBC World News.
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