Airlines & Airports American Airlines Rich Thomaselli October 16, 2021
American Airlines President Robert Isom had a lot to say on Friday during an exclusive interview with the Miami Herald.
Isom started by saying the carrier will reject the pilots’ union request to amend the company mandate that all employees must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.
The airline’s president said he has no choice – the Biden Administration has stipulated that any government contractor must require employees to be fully vaccinated.
In lieu of getting the shot, the pilots’ union asked for weekly testing.
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“The executive order doesn’t allow for (alternatives),” Isom told the Herald. “Our team members need to be vaccinated. It’s really important for our business, for our company, to get the pandemic under control. We want every one of our team members to be vaccinated and, equally important, we want every one of our team members to have a job and continue to work at American.”
The union representing American Airlines pilots canceled a protest planned for Tuesday at Miami International Airport, citing more immediate challenges over the vaccine mandate.
“Rescheduling this event will enable your union to better focus on the short-term challenges related to the vaccine mandate,” the union said in an email to members.
Isom also criticized the cruise industry, a retaliation of sorts after several cruise executives apparently said that taking a cruise is safer than flying.
Isom found that to be a dubious claim and noted ironically that, in many instances, cruise passengers need to first get on a plane to get to their port of call for a ship.
“The safest form of transportation out there is absolutely flying. We’ve proven that over and over and over again so that comparison doesn’t play too well,” he said. “And by the way, we need to make sure the passengers get to cruise lines in a healthy condition.”
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