Delta Airlines will impose a $200 monthly fee on employees unvaccinated against Covid-19, the airline announced on Wednesday.
In a newsent to Delta employees, CEO Ed Bastian announced that unvaccinated employees enrolled in Delta’s account-based healthcare plan will be subject to a $200 monthly surcharge starting 1 November.
“The average hospital stay for Covid-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person. This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company,” Bastian wrote.
Starting 12 September, any US employee who is not fully vaccinated will be required to take a Covid test each week. Additionally, starting from 30 September, Delta’s Covid pay protection will be provided only to fully vaccinated individuals who experience breakthrough infections.
Currently, 75% of Delta staff are vaccinated. The airline has also partnered with the state of Georgia to operate the state’s largest mass vaccination site at the Delta Flight Museum, where approximately 35% of Georgia’s mass vaccination doses were administered to residents.
“While we can be proud of our 75% vaccination rate, the aggressiveness of the variant means we need to get many more of our people vaccinated, and as close to 100% as possible,” Bastian added in the memo.
Wednesday’s announcement comes after the Food and Drug Administration granted fullto the Pfizer vaccine for Covid-19 on Monday.
Earlier this month, United Airlinesthat it will require its US employees to be vaccinated, making it the first large airline to mandate vaccines for its employees.