Cathay Pacific Airways passenger jets 09122018
Cathay Pacific Airways passenger jets on the tarmac at Hong Kong's international airport Image Credit: AFP

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said it decided to "part company with a small number of aircrew" who chose not to receive available COVID-19 vaccines and didn't provide proof of any medical exemption.

The Hong Kong-based carrier in June asked flight crew to be fully inoculated by the end of August or face having their employment reviewed, the South China Morning Post reported at the time. All of Cathay's flights since Sept. 1 have been with fully vaccinated crew, the airline said in a statement Wednesday.

"It's clear to us all now that COVID-19 is a terrible virus and that keeping our customers, communities, and families safe is of the utmost importance," Cathay said. "Border controls around the world have dramatically reduced our ability to operate with unvaccinated aircrew."

Airlines elsewhere have required staff to get vaccinated or are considering such a move. Among them, Qantas Airways Ltd. stated last month that front-line employees including cabin crew, pilots and airport workers would need to be inoculated by Nov. 15, while United Airlines Holdings Inc. became the first major US carrier to impose a vaccine mandate.