American Airlines delays employee vaccine mandate deadline until 2022 after Biden postpones deadline

Pilots talk as they look at the tail of an American Airlines aircraft at Dallas-Ft Worth International Airport.

Mike Stone | Reuters

American Airlines is delaying the implementation of rules that require all staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19 until Jan. 4, hours after the Biden administration postponed its deadline for federal contractors to meet the requirements.

Previously, American Airlines’ more than 100,000 mainline employees had to receive their last Covid vaccine shot by Nov. 24 to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8, the old deadline.

Southwest Airlines will likely follow suit.

American, Southwest, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue Airways, are federal contractors, carrying U.S. mail, government employees, cargo and providing other services. Each of those airlines have said they would comply with the Biden administration’s rules, released in September, that require federal contractors to ensure their employees are vaccinated or receive an exemption.

The rules are stricter than rules the Biden administration released on Thursday.

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