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Blade, the Uber-like, short-distance aviation company known for its helicopter flights to the Hamptons, is requiring all passengers be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The company, which already requires its employees to be vaccinated, informed clients of the new rule by email late Wednesday.
The vaccine mandate takes effect on Sept. 7, and comes as major commercial airlines weigh whether or not or require vaccines for employees and passengers.
In recent days American Airlines, Delta and Southwest have all said they wouldn’t require workers to get the jab. United Airlines, by contrast, is requiring its 67,000 US employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 25.
Blade founder and Chief Executive Rob Wiesenthal told The Post that he believes customers will appreciate the protocol, which comes amid rising cases of the highly contagious Delta variant.
“We believe our passengers want the security of knowing their fellow fliers are vaccinated — we believe it will ultimately increase our passenger volume,” the CEO said.
“If it’s required at a restaurant where you are sitting at a table with people you know, it would make sense that vaccinations should be required (outside medical and age exceptions) when you are sitting directly next to someone you don’t know on a commercial flight,” he said.
Blade said passengers will be asked to self-testify to their vaccine status when they book their flights through Blade. They will be prompted on Blade’s site to offer information on when they received their vaccine, if they received both doses and which vaccine they took. Blade said it reserves the right to ask for vaccine proof– either the card or a photo of the card– before boarding.
Passengers under the age of 12 or those who are unable to get the vaccine due to a medical issue or disability will not be subject to the new rule. Likewise, any passenger flying from within Florida, is not subject to the rule, as Covid mandates are not enforceable in the Sunshine State. Those passengers will be required to wear masks on the flight, however.
Currently, Blade has a mix of flights that include New York-centric jaunts to The Hamptons, Montauk and metro-serving airports, JFK, Newark and LaGuardia, as well as flights to Nantucket, South Florida and Aspen.
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