“Any person joining Delta in the future we will mandate to get vaccinated before they can sign up with the company,” CEO Ed Bastian told CNN’s Richard Quest in an exclusive interview.
Bastian said that he would “strongly encourage” Delta’s existing 75,000 employees to get the vaccine and help them “understand the risk to not get vaccinated.” Those who opt out of being vaccinated might face restrictions, such as not being able to work international flights, he said.
More than 60% of the airline’s current employees have had at least one shot and it expects that about 80% of employees will be fully vaccinated, he said.
“It signals confidence that we’re doing everything we can to keep them safe as well as to keep our customers safe because customers knew Delta employees were being tested all throughout the process,” Bastian said of the airlines’ testing and vaccination procedures.
As the country moves toward fully reopening and vaccinations become more readily available, businesses are exploring whether they can legally mandate new or existing staff to be vaccinated.
–CNN’s Richard Davis contributed to this report.