Alaska Airways is contemplating Covid vaccine mandates for employees

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 taking off from LAX.

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Alaska Airlines told employees on Wednesday that it is considering making Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for employees, according to a company memo that CNBC viewed.

The policy change would make the Seattle-based airline the newest airline to require vaccines for its employees. On Friday, United Airlines became the first major US airline to operate Prescribe vaccines for its employees. Border airlines and Hawaiian Airlines have since issued similar requirements.

Alaska, which has about 20,000 employees, said if it did make vaccines mandatory it would after the Food and Drug Administration fully approved one of the vaccines currently available under emergency approval.

Airline executives recently raised concerns about the rapidly spreading Delta variant of Covid. Southwest Airlines on Wednesday lowered its revenue and profit outlook, blaming the variant’s spread on weaker bookings and increased cancellations.

delta, Southwest and American have encouraged, but not mandated, vaccination of employees.

“As an employer with a duty to protect you, and given the contagion and health risks of the COVID-19 virus and its variants, we have the right to make that decision and ask you for information about your vaccine status,” Alaska employees said . It was said that there would be exemptions for religious or medical reasons, similar to other companies.