Vistara has become the first airline to announce that nearly every employee has had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes all crew, frontline employees, and corporate staff, a notable achievement. Let’s find out more about Vistara’s rapid vaccine rollout.
Vistara has become the first Indian airline to nearly vaccinate its entire workforce with the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The carrier announced that all airport staff, cabin crew, pilots, and corporate employees who are eligible for the vaccine have received it. Moreover, the airline also covered the cost of the vaccines for its employees.
It is notable that India opened vaccines to those between the age of 18-44 only on May 1st. Despite shortages in the first two weeks, which has affected other airlines too, Vistara seems to have pushed ahead with its program.
So how did Vistara complete its vaccination drive? The quick rollout was thanks to a combination of sources for vaccines. The first was existing government facilities, which likely helped those outside of the airline’s hubs. The second was airport-wide camps that have been set up in major airports like Delhi, which can give thousands of daily doses.
Vistara has also signed agreements itself, with one exclusive vaccine drive at its headquarters in Gurgaon and two more Vistara-led drives in Delhi and in Mumbai (currently underway). These diverse sources have allowed for a speedy vaccine rollout for all employees.
Others catching up
While Vistara might be the first airline to reach a near 100% vaccination rate among its crew, it’s important to note that the carrier only has a fraction of employees compared to others. Bigger airlines like IndiGo, Air India, and SpiceJet will take longer due to the larger numbers and complexity of vaccinating those in far-away bases.
All of the above-mentioned airlines (and GoAir) have also started their own vaccine rollouts, although Air India has been struggling with shortages. We can expect to see thousands of pilots, cabin crew, and other frontline staff vaccinated by the end of the month, especially as supply increases.
When not busy getting vaccinated themselves, airline crew have been busy transporting COVID-19 vaccines. Almost all of India’s vaccines are made within the country, meaning only domestic flights are needed for transport. To date, Indian carriers have carried an impressive 209.3 million doses since the rollout began in January.
The coming months will see vaccinations ramp up across India, and the aviation industry begins to recover once again. While demand will take a while to recover to even February 2021 levels, airlines are hoping to survive this crisis first.
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