New Zealand’s flag carrier has mandated that all customers travelling anywhere on its international network will need to be fully vaccinated from 1 February 2022.
The vaccination requirement will apply to all passengers aged 18 and older arriving or departing Aotearoa on an Air New Zealand aircraft. Customers who are not vaccinated will be required to present proof that vaccination was not a viable option for them for medical reasons.
“Mandating vaccination on our international flights will give both customers and employees the peace of mind that everyone onboard meets the same health requirements as they do,” Air New Zealand's Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran said upon announcing the news.
Describing the company’s vaccination mandate as “another tool in our toolbox” to keep New Zealand safe, Foran assured that along with customers, everyone on board and all customer-facing staff will also be fully vaxxed.
Despite a recent consultation process with employees, Foran admitted that the decree will likely be met with some backlash.
"As with anything, there will be some that disagree [with our mandate],” he said.
“However, we know this is the right thing to do to protect our people, our customers and the wider New Zealand community.”
The airline is currently working on rolling out the International Air Transport Associations (IATA) Travel Pass app which will check customers' health information against flight details to ensure they are meeting entry requirements for that destination, and the airline.
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