October 7. Major U.S. airlines are increasingly mandating Covid-19 vaccines for employees. Some of the regional carriers that fly under their names have not — at least not yet.
Large airlines like United, American and Delta contract smaller carriers to operate some shorter routes in their networks, tickets for which are sold on the bigger carrier’s website and other platforms as its own. Some of these smaller airlines are wholly owned subsidiaries such as American’s Envoy and Delta’s Endeavor Air while others, like SkyWest and Mesa Air Group, are independent.
Representatives for Mesa, Envoy, SkyWest and United contractor CommutAir said they haven’t issued requirements for employees yet but are evaluating whether federal requirements will compel them to mandate vaccines for staff.
American, Alaska, JetBlue and Southwest each told staff over the past week that they must be vaccinated to comply with the federal contractor rules. Previously, those airlines encouraged staff to be vaccinated but didn’t require it. United had implemented its own vaccine mandate in August and has said that more than 96% of its 67,000 U.S. employees are vaccinated after the deadline passed last week. The Chicago-based airline said it encouraged its contractors to mandate vaccines as well.