Aer Lingus Tells Staff Not To Get Vaccinated On Layover In The US

Irish carrier Aer Lingus is reminding its flight crews that they are prohibited from getting vaccinated in the…

Aer Lingus Tells Staff Not To Get Vaccinated On Layover In The US

Irish carrier Aer Lingus is reminding its flight crews that they are prohibited from getting vaccinated in the United States during their on-duty stopovers in the country. The airline, whose intercontinental service is largely transatlantic, states that crews cannot travel for 48 hours after being vaccinated due to a risk of developing adverse side effects.

Doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been plentiful in the United States while other nations continue to deal with shortages. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Possible side effects for those recently vaccinated

According to Independent.ie, Aer Lingus is reminding its employees that they cannot get vaccinated during their work stopovers in the United States. News had emerged that some crews had been doing so, prompting the airline to issue the reminder.

Staff have been told by airline management that they cannot travel for 48 hours after getting vaccinated due to a risk of developing adverse side effects. Reactions, which could include fever and tiredness, would render crews unfit for duty.

“This is to allow time for any side effects to wear off and to ensure crew are fully fit for duty. As a result, Aer Lingus crew are unable to receive a vaccination for Covid-19 if in the US on duty.

Crew are asked to adhere to all medical advice given by the [Health Service Executive] and their medical provider in relation to vaccinations.”

-Aer Lingus statement via Indepdent.ie

Boston Logan International Airport is a key East Coast destination for Aer Lingus, as is New York JFK. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Sources note that Aer Lingus has not disclosed the number of staff found to have been vaccinated in the US while on company duty. Simple Flying reached out to Aer Lingus for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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In line with EASA recommendations

It was at the end of March that EASA recommended that aircrew should wait between two and three days after getting a vaccine dose before engaging in any “flight-related tasks.” The European aviation safety regular adds side effects “may be further enhanced by in-flight conditions while at cruise level, such as lower air pressure and mild hypoxic environment.”

With these risks in mind, EASA recommends the following:

  • Operators and aircrew members should consider a waiting period of 48 hours after each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before engaging in any flight-related tasks.
  • This interval could be extended to 72 hours for aircrew members performing single crew operations.

EASA adds that aircrew members should consult with aeromedical examiners (AMEs) if side effects persist for more than two days after a vaccination. AMEs should therefore encourage aircrew to consult them when it comes to vaccinations and their side effects.

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Vaccine abundance in the US

While much of the world continues to deal with COVID-19 vaccine shortages and slow roll-outs, the United States has experienced the opposite problem. A speedy rollout combined with vaccine hesitancy has resulted in an abundant supply with a shortage of willing participants.

These factors have led to news that various groups have been offering free things as a reward for getting vaccinated. This has included free beer (or coffee) at locations in Nashville, french fries in New York, and Krispy Kreme donuts nationwide. One of the more outlandish initiatives has been the state of Ohio offering vaccine participants a chance to win $1 million through a special lottery.

“I know that some may say, ‘DeWine, you’re crazy! This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money…But truly, the real waste at this point in the pandemic – when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it – is a life lost to COVID-19.” -Mike DeWine, Governor of Ohio via ABC News

As a move to boost tourism, New York City (an Aer Lingus destination) is offering vaccinations to overseas visitors, with popular tourist spots like Times Square being used as vaccination sites.

What do you think of airline crews getting vaccinated while on stopovers? Could it be made possible with some schedule adjustments? Let us know in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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British Airways CEO Calls For US To Be Placed On UK Green List

Holidaying is once again back on the cards for many brits as the UK Government officially ended its…

British Airways CEO Calls For US To Be Placed On UK Green List

Holidaying is once again back on the cards for many brits as the UK Government officially ended its non-essential travel ban today. Commemorating the occasion, British Airways CEO Sean Doyle called for the government to add the United States to its green list while removing testing requirements for those who have been vaccinated.

British Airways today celebrated the re-opening of non-essential travel from the United Kingdom. Photo: British Airways

For most of 2021 so far, Brits have been unable to travel. In no uncertain terms, the government wanted that holidays were illegal and could attract fines of up to £5,000 ($7,050). This has now been changed, with people allowed to leave the United Kingdom for any reason. Now the only firm barrier to travel will be if the destination country will receive them.

Calling for the US on the green list

At a press conference held to mark the reopening of international travel, British Airways CEO Sean Doyle called for a travel corridor between the United Kingdom and the United States. This, in itself, isn’t great news as airlines on both sides of the Atlantic have been campaigning for such a route for quite some time. Doyle previously suggested that such a bubble could lead to the return of the Airbus A380.

Commenting, Doyle said,

“We need the government to start progressively assigning green status to many more low-risk countries… It’s clear to us that America should be on the green list, and the importance of the US and UK cannot be underestimated.”

British Airways, United States, Green List
Doyle wants to see the United States added as a green list destination. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

Doyle went on to emphasize the economic impact of keeping the corridor closed, adding,

“Prohibiting travel to and from the US, not only stops loved ones being together., it has a considerable cost to the economy. And we reckon every day we’re shut it’s costing £32 million [$45 million] per day.”

So what is allowed?

Revealing the green list just over a week ago, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that quarantine-free travel would initially just be allowed from 12 countries, with just a handful of these being viable for widespread tourism.

By far, the most popular destination on the list was Portugal. Even this didn’t come without its own set of challenges. While the UK Government’s green list was announced on Friday, May 7th, Portugal didn’t confirm that it would accept UK travelers until a week later, Friday, May 14th. With just days until the green list went live, some travelers were, understandably, a little on edge.

British Airways, United States, Green List
Only a handful of destinations are viable for tourism on the current green list. Photo: British Airways

Passengers traveling to green list countries won’t have to quarantine on arrival in the United Kingdom. They will need to take a COVID-19 test before departure, followed by a costly PCR test on day two after travel.

In contrast, those traveling from amber countries will need to quarantine for ten days, brought down to five with a test on day five. In addition to this optional test, more PCR tests must be taken on days two and eight. Travelers from red list countries will need to self isolate in government-managed hotels for ten days. The UK Government still discourages travel to both amber and red list destinations.

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Are cheaper tests on the way?

Currently, the cheapest COVID-19 tests available to British Airways passengers are day two and eight tests from Randox. With a discount code provided by the airline, these clock in at £120 ($169) for two (£60 each). However, there is a glimmer of hope from the airline. While it is yet to be reflected on the British Airways website, Doyle let slip that British Airways will begin offering £40 ($56) PCR tests, most likely through a partner. Doyle said,

“I think we’ve been driving the cost of PCR testing down very effectively. So today we launched the £40 PCR test, which is significantly lower than a lot of what the tests were being charged say a month ago.”

Are you pleased to see the (arguably very limited) resumption of travel to and from the UK? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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