A few days ago, Etihad Airways made headlines for vaccinating all pilots and flight attendants. Well, it seems that one airline has outperformed the Abu Dhabi-based airline, at least for now.
EL AL vaccinates all customer-oriented employees
Israel Hayom reports that EL AL is the first airline in the world to vaccinate all employees with customer contact. In other words, this includes not just pilots and flight attendants, but also ground crews, security guards, and anyone else who comes into contact with customers.
Now I wonder if that’s technically correct. In other words, have gate agents outside Israel been consistently vaccinated? I wouldn’t advise, but who knows. I suppose some work is done for contractors, but that’s not really a difference customers should be concerned about.
For comparison, Arkia Israeli Airlines reportedly vaccinated around 70% of its employees, while Israir vaccinated around 95% of its pilots.
It is not surprising that Israeli airlines are leaders in this regard as Israel leads the world in per capita vaccination. For context (and remember that each person needs two vaccines):
- Israel leads the way by far, with 71 vaccinations per 100 people in the country
- The United Arab Emirates ranks second with 48 vaccinations per 100 people
- We have now seen 14 vaccinations per 100 people in the US
Etihad was the first airline to vaccinate all pilots and flight attendants
For the time being, this is largely controversial
Although it is an incredible achievement that EL AL has vaccinated all employees with customer contact, in reality this is not particularly important for the time being as the borders of Israel are more or less closed due to the new coronavirus strains.
The airline only operates a very limited number of cargo and repatriation flights, but that’s it. So yes, EL AL outperformed Etihad in terms of vaccination of all employees, but perhaps the practical impact of Etihad’s vaccination is more significant as the airline operates a lot more flights.
The EL AL fleet is currently largely grounded
EL AL is the first major airline in the world to vaccinate all employees with customer contact.
With Israel leading the way in vaccinating people, I am excited to see what stance the country will take when virtually everyone in the country is being vaccinated. Will the country open to almost everyone at this point, will it only open to vaccinated travelers, and / or will it open to those who have been tested prior to travel?
The precedent that is set will be worth keeping an eye on …
(Hat tip closed @azirons)