Travel body calls vaccine requirement discriminatory

"We should never require the vaccination to get a job or to travel," said the industry body's Chief Executive Gloria Guevara, speaking on a Reuters Next conference panel.

As governments race to deploy vaccinations and stem the coronavirus pandemic, some policymakers have suggested immunization should be necessary for air travel.

Qantas Airways has said it plans to introduce such a requirement.

"I totally disagree with the approach from Qantas," said Guevara. "If you require the vaccination before travel, that takes us to discrimination."

Airline safety protocols and on-board air filtration meant passengers had "less chance to get COVID in a plane (than) in a supermarket," she added.

"We need to protect vulnerable groups and prioritize the vaccination for them."

Guevara's comments contrasted with a majority of online panel viewers, who supported a vaccine requirement according to a snap poll by Reuters Next organizers.