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Canada's vaccine mandate for foreign crews is a headache for European airlines



(Reuters) – European airlines are getting heavier to meet both foreign vaccination and local privacy requirements, as more countries require flight crews to be vaccinated against covid-19, the airlines say.

Canada is scheduled for January .15 to close an exemption that allowed the entry of unvaccinated foreign flight crews and join others who have vaccination mandates for both pilots and passengers.

in Europe, said a spokesperson for the Airlines For Europe (A4E) trading group.

"Carriers will need to find solutions to meet the Canadian entry requirement," A4E spokeswoman Jennifer Janzen said via email.

US airlines such as United Airlines demand that their cabin crew be fully vaccinated, while rivals such as American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have delayed

Airlines that have suffered heavy losses due to covid-1

9 travel restrictions and bans, blame a patchwork of changed rules on increased bureaucracy and reduced demand for international travel.

Airlines expects to see more vaccination mandates for the crew as the rapidly spreading omicron variant forces governments to tighten border restrictions.

] "We now see that more and more countries are demanding or considering the immunization of flight crews," KLM Royal Dutch Airlines said in a statement.

The airline identified intercontinental flights to a dozen destinations where the crew is currently not exempt from vaccine requirements.

As more countries require inoculation certificates from everyone on aircraft, international flights will no longer be practical without vaccinated crews, said a spokesman for German Lufthansa AG, which can not force its staff to be vaccinated against covid-19.

Canada , which pleaded with residents on Wednesday not to leave the country due to omicron, is expected to announce on Friday that it will once again require people returning from short trips abroad to submit a negative covid-19 test.

In some countries, foreign flight crews are exempt from vaccination regulations aimed at international travelers, as recommended by the UN Aviation Bureau.

International flight crews are exempt from the US requirement that all non-US citizens traveling from abroad be vaccinated. Transport Canada said in a statement that it is working closely "with public health officials on vaccination requirements affecting international flight crews."

Because KLM does not require crew members to be inoculated or share their vaccination status, employees must instead seek a generalized "travel restriction" are scheduled to fly to a destination with entry requirements that they cannot meet, the airline said.

"Supervisors do not have insight into the reason for the restriction," the airline said in the emailed statement. "Only in this way can we continue to fill in the lists properly and keep our business feasible."


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