Virgin Australia to make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for staff, launches VA-X & WIN competition for passengers

Virgin Australia is following in the footsteps of Qantas by announcing plans to make vaccination "necessary" for all its employees.

In a statement, Australia's second largest airline said a consultation process will commence shortly with relevant unions, employees and safety committees about the new rule.

Under the proposed policy, frontline team members will be required to be vaccinated by November 15, and all office-based team members by March 31, 2022. 

Virgin Australia has established an education campaign to assure and inform team members who may have concerns and questions about the vaccination.

The airline will is also launching a VA-X & WIN competition for staff and customers this week to encourage all Australians to get behind vaccination. 

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said recent events have demonstrated that it only takes one person to create a knock-on effect which creates significant impacts for the airline's employees and the community more broadly. 

"Virgin Australia is not alone as a business in being deeply affected by the events of recent months. It is clear that vaccination is the only way back to normal freedom of movement and the richness in life that comes from spending meaningful, in person time with family, friends and colleagues," they said.

"Vaccination is the only solution to the situation Australia currently finds itself in, and something we have determined is vital to keep our team safe, given the high public exposure most of them encounter day to day. 

"The majority of our team at Virgin Australia are already vaccinated, and we will be listening to our team members to ensure we find the best fit policy for our organisation."

Last week Qantas announced a major competition with prizes including free flights for an entire year to passengers who were vaccinated. That followed the airline's commitment to having all of its staff vaccinated before international borders reopen.