United Airlines to Mandate Vaccinations for All Employees

United Airlines will require all its U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 amid a surge in cases.

Workers are now required to provide proof of full vaccination by no later than October 25, the airliner told Newsweek in an emailed statement on Friday.

The airline's mandate applies to all of its 67,000 employees including flight attendants and gate agents. The company said that 80 percent of its flight attendants and 90 percent of its pilots have been vaccinated.

Those who are already vaccinated or are in the process of receiving the vaccine will be offered an additional day of pay after they provide proof of vaccination before September 20, according to the statement.

"We know some of you will disagree with this decision to require the vaccine for all United employees," airline CEO Scott Kirby and president Brett Hart told employees, according to the statement. "But, we have no greater responsibility to you and your colleagues than to ensure your safety when you're at work, and the facts are crystal clear: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated."

The airliner didn't disclose what will happen to employees who fail to meet the company's vaccination mandate.

United is the first U.S. airline among other carriers to mandate vaccinations for its workers, according to the Associated Press. It earlier required vaccination proof from new hires in June, while unvaccinated employees were mandated to wear face masks. The airliner previously encouraged its workers to get vaccinated by offering incentives such as payment or time off.

A company executive said that the company is not planning to pass the same mandate for passengers, leaving this decision to the government, CNN reported.

As the Delta variant continues to spread worldwide, a number of major corporations announced their plans to mandate vaccines. In May, airline company Delta has required all new U.S. hires to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

While 60 percent of its employees are already vaccinated, Delta announced that it "is an important move to protect Delta's people and customers, ensuring the airline can safely operate as demand returns and as it accelerates through recovery and into the future."

On Monday, Cyrus Shahpar, the White House COVID-19 data director, said that 70 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, a goal that President Joe Biden hoped to reach by July 4.

United Airlines mandates employee vaccinations
United Airlines will require all its U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 amid a surge in cases. In this photo, a United Airlines passenger plane sits at Kingsford Smith Airport on July 11, 2021 in Sydney, Australia James D. Morgan/Getty Images