Singapore Airlines has one clear message to their employees: Get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.
Reuters reports the carrier wants to become the first aviation operator to have a fully-vaccinated staff.
Because Singapore is a city-state, their flag carrier and maritime infrastructure does not have domestic routes to rely upon.
With international travel all but shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore Airlines was forced to cut 20 per cent of their workforce to stay in business.
Now, the airline sees mass vaccination as their best hope to resume international travel. As the nation is hosting two major events in the coming months, including the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, vaccination against the novel Coronavirus presents the best opportunity to return to some version of “normal.”
“[Singapore Airlines] can be the first vaccinated international airline of the world,” Singapore transport minister Ong Ye King told airline employees at a drive, according to Reuters. “Try to get that done.”
The nation is currently offering the vaccine to residents at no cost on a voluntary basis.
According to company data, 5,200 airline employees – including chief executive Goh Phong Choon – have signed up to get the shot. This represents around half of their eligible workforce.
“Vaccinations are widely expected to be the game-changer in facilitating the opening of borders once again,” Goh said, according to Reuters.
“This will also be an important differentiator in the airline industry.”
The airline’s drive to get all employees vaccinated comes after the International Air Transport Association called for aviation employees to get priority access to the shots.
Their request for airline infrastructure workers to get shots follows advice from the World Health Organization, which ranked the laborers after health and education workers.