American Airlines delays vaccine mandate until January next year

FILE PHOTO: An American Airlines Airbus A321 plane takes off from Los Angeles International airport

(Reuters) – American Airlines Group Inc delayed the rollout of a mandate that requires its U.S.-based employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus until Jan. 4, Chief Executive Doug Parker said in a letter to employees on Thursday.

This comes hours after the Biden administration moved forward the vaccination deadline for large U.S. companies from Dec. 8 to Jan. 4.

Separately, Southwest Airlines said it was reviewing the revised guidance from the administration.

Biden had in September unveiled plans for the mandate, seeking to increase vaccination rates amid a dangerous surge in COVID-19 cases and get more people back to work.

(Reporting by Rhea Binoy and Sanjana Sitara in Bengaluru and David Sheperdson in Washington; Editing by Arun Koyyur)