ATLANTA - Delta Air Lines will require all new employees get vaccinated for COVID-19 before joining the company.
The Atlanta-based airline's CEO Ed Bastian made the announcement speaking to CNN's Richard Quest Thursday during a tour of Delta's mass vaccination center at the Delta Flight Museum.
According to Bastian, over 60% of Delta employees have had at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. He expects that percentage to eventually increase to around 75 or 80%.
"Any person joining Delta in the future - future employees will be mandated to be vaccinated to be joining the company," Bastian said.
The CEO says current Delta employees will be "strongly encouraged" to be vaccinated, but it will not be mandatory.
However, Bastian said that unvaccinated employees possibly could not be able to do certain jobs such as working on international flights due to different restrictions in other countries.
This month, Delta Air Lines also ended its policy of blocking middle seats on flights to create more social distancing between passengers. Delta had temporarily placed passengers in middle seats when the airline experienced staff shortages in April.
Despite the economic struggles of airlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Delta did have some good news to come out of it. The company ranked highest in J.D. Power's customer satisfaction survey with a score of 860 out of 1,000. It's the first time Delta Air Lines has taken the top spot since 1995.
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