IATA urges governments to prioritize vaccination for employees in the aviation sector
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged governments to ensure that employees working in the front line in the aviation sector are considered as essential workers during the impending COVID-19 vaccine campaigns.
Prioritizing aviation for vaccination is also aligned with the World Health Organization’s proposed road map by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE).
“We are not asking for aviation workers to be on top of the list, but we need governments to ensure that transportation workers are considered as essential when vaccine roll-out plans are developed. The transportation of the COVID-19 vaccines has already begun, and as calculations show, it will require the equivalent of 8,000 Boeing 747 freighter aircraft for global distribution. It is therefore essential that we have the qualified workforce in place to ensure a functioning logistics chain,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
The aviation industry plays a vital role in the transportation of vaccines across the globe in less time. In the Maldives, airline and airport employees were among the first to be vaccinated under the front line employees category.
Earlier in February, Etihad Airways became the first airline in the world to vaccinate the entire operational crew. Many companies in the aviation industry across the globe are carrying out vaccination for their staff.