Southwest Airlines stated Monday that it would implement the federal vaccine mandate announced by way of President Joe Biden, dismissing objections raised maximum prominently by way of its pilots’ union.
The mandate, which Biden announced as a part of an executive order, would require corporations with more than 100 employees to put into effect vaccine requirements, with weekly trying out to be had as an opportunity. Federal contractors, however, do not have the trying-out exemption. Most industrial U.S. Airways, which includes Southwest, have several contracts with the federal government.
Pilots unions at American Airlines and Southwest Airlines warned closing week that an exodus of pilots may want to arise if the federal vaccine mandate is implemented at airlines, probably causing mayhem all through the holiday tour period.
About 30% of American Airlines pilots are unvaccinated, the pilots’ union, the Allied Pilots Association (APA), stated ultimate week, citing clinical reasons and reluctance. Southwest Airlines, headquartered a few miles far from American in Texas, has now not said how many of its pilots are vaccinated.
“We are also concerned that the Executive Order’s expected 60-day implementation period for obligatory vaccinations ought to bring about exertions shortages and create severe operational troubles for American Airlines and its peers,” APA president Captain Eric Ferguson wrote in a letter to the Department of Transportation and the White House. “Airlines generate a considerable element in their annual sales all through the vacation period, with terrific many tourists depending on us to get them to their destinations. Our country’s airways, and the touring public, can’t manage to pay for full-size provider disruptions due to exertions shortages.”
The Southwest Airline Pilots Association (SWAPA) is referred to as an exemption to the order for pilots.