Etihad Airways announced it is the first airline in the world to have 100% of its pilots and cabin crew fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
"We proactively made the vaccine available to all our employees to not only help combat the effects of COVID-19 but to make travelers feel confident and reassured the next time they fly with us," Etihad Aviation Group's CEO, Tony Douglas, said in a statement on Wednesday. "We are the only airline in the world to make COVID-19 testing mandatory for every passenger and crew member before every flight and now, we're the first airline in the world with 100% vaccinated crew on board."
The airline started getting its employees vaccinated in December.
The vaccinations were possible through Etihad's "Protected Together," an initiative to help employees and their families to receive the vaccine at their workplace. Etihad secured places for its frontline employees in Abu Dhabi's vaccination program and ensured that the Etihad Airways Medical Centre became an accredited COVID-19 vaccination site.
Etihad made a pre-boarding COVID-19 test a requirement for all passengers and cabin crew last year. The airline also announced that it would launch a health passport this year to help travelers keep track of all their COVID-19 health information, including vaccination and test records.
The United Arab Emirates aims to vaccinate half of the population by the end of March 2021. The country currently has the second-highest vaccination rate in the world, after Israel, with about 44% of its population vaccinated, according to Gulf News. The airline is ahead of schedule with over 75% of its workforce having received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.
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