As of 14 September, KLM will ask flying crew members who have not been vaccinated and are therefore unable to meet the entry requirements for certain destinations to notify KLM Health Services. KLM Health Services then registers a travel restriction, so that these employees will not be scheduled for flights to a destination that has entry requirements that they do not meet. This is in line with KLM's regular processes, where crew members may have travel restrictions for personal, visa or health reasons. Managers do not gain insight into the reason for the restriction.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, KLM has worked hard to maintain its global network as much as possible. This allowed customers to make (necessary) trips and the transport of freight, such as medical devices and vaccines, could continue. Even now we want to be able to offer our customers as many destinations as possible.
In the ever-changing world, we now see that more and more countries are mandating or considering immunization of flight crews. As of October 16, Trinidad & Tobago will introduce a vaccination obligation for aircraft crew. There are also signals from Canada and other countries that they are expected to introduce such an obligation in the near future. In addition, more and more hotels where our staff stay expect a vaccination certificate.
We expect that more countries will soon introduce a vaccination obligation, so that we can no longer deploy unvaccinated crew members in these destinations. This may also apply to destinations where we fly over countries where there is a vaccination obligation for crew. This is related to strict requirements in the field of flight safety and the ability to quickly take action in the event of calamities. For the time being, KLM is trying to schedule crew members with a travel restriction at destinations where there are no entry requirements. But as more countries start to impose entry requirements, this could lead to major operational problems for KLM.
KLM will not oblige its employees to be vaccinated. This is a personal decision of the employee. KLM does need insight into which employees cannot meet the entry requirements and are therefore not deployable at all our destinations. The colleagues concerned have been asked to report to KLM Health Services, which will pass on the travel restriction to KLM's planning department. Thus KLM.