Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines to Require Employees to Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Southwest joins American, JetBlue, Alaska and United in complying with Biden administration guidelines for federal contractors

Southwest Airlines Plane
NBC 5 News

Southwest Airlines will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8, the airline says.

By requiring the vaccine, Dallas-based Southwest will join Fort Worth-based American, JetBlue, Alaska and United in complying with Biden administration guidelines.

"Southwest Airlines must join our industry peers in complying with the federal government's COVID-19 vaccination directive," Southwest Airlines Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said in a written statement. "I encourage all Southwest Employees to meet the federal directive, as quickly as possible, since we value every individual and want to ensure job security for all."

Under the federal rules, federal contractors must be vaccinated against the coronavirus unless they are granted a religious or medical exemption. Major airlines are federal contractors since they fly government employees, cargo and provide other services, according to CNBC.

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American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways announced on Oct. 1 their employees would also face the Oct. 8 deadline to be vaccinated.

United Airlines announced its vaccine requirement in early August.

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