June 24 (Reuters) - Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd
said on Thursday that all Hong Kong-based pilots and flight
attendants would need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Aug.
31 or risk losing their jobs, in one of the airline industry's
Cathay said it had struggled with staff rostering due to
Hong Kong's strict quarantine rules on return that have been
loosened for crew that have been vaccinated. There are also
requirements that only fully vaccinated crews can operate to
certain high-risk destinations and on quarantine-free "bubble"
Hong Kong has a surplus of unused vaccines and some of the
shots are about to expire, city authorities have said.
Cathay said 90% of pilots and more than 65% of cabin crew
had been vaccinated already, or had appointments for
vaccinations, following a previous warning that vaccination was
highly likely to become compulsory.
"We understand there will be some who cannot take a vaccine
and we will look into accommodating them on a short-term basis
where we can," the airline said in a statement.
"However, we will review the future employment of those who
are unable to become vaccinated and assess whether they can
continue to be employed as aircrew with Cathay Pacific."
Cathay's new policy was first reported by the South China
Morning Post and comes amid varying industry approaches to crew
United Airlines Holdings Inc said on Tuesday it
would mandate full vaccination for crew members flying to
countries with high COVID-19 cases at the beginning of August,
while Delta Air Lines Inc last month said all new hires
would have to be vaccinated.
Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd has said it will
require all passengers and crew to be vaccinated when the
country's borders reopen to widespread international travel.
Emirates has provided employees with free vaccines since
January, and later told staff they had to get vaccinated or pay
for regular tests to prove they are not infected.
(Reporting by Jamie Freed in Sydney; Editing by Kenneth