IATA makes case that aviation employees be deemed essential for vaccination

December 18, 2020

With their role in logistics chain, association believes that aviation workers should be given higher priority

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) asked governments to acknowledge that employees in the aviation sector be considered essential workers during the Covid-19 vaccine campaign, once healthcare workers and vulnerable groups have been protected.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, is not calling for governments to change priorities, but rather to consider the role that those in the aviation industry play in the global supply chain.

“We are not asking for aviation workers to be on top of the list, but we need governments to ensure that transportation workers are considered as essential when vaccine roll-out plans are developed,” he said. “The transportation of the Covid-19 vaccines has already begun, and as calculations show, it will require the equivalent of 8,000 Boeing 747 freighter aircraft for global distribution. It is therefore essential that we have the qualified workforce in place to ensure a functioning logistics chain.”

IATA’s 76th Annual General Meeting (AGM) recently adopted a resolution speaking to this effect.