Starting Nov. 1, all unvaccinated employees who are enrolled in the Atlanta carrier's account-based health-care plan will be subject to a $200 monthly charge. The funds address the financial risk unvaccinated employees pose to the company.
Delta Air says the average COVID-19 hospital stay for its workers costs it $50,000.
The company did not immediately return a request for comment on how that number was calculated and how many of its employees are enrolled in its health-care plan.
The company says that while 75% of its workforce is vaccinated, it would like that number to be "as close to 100% as possible."
According to Statista, Delta's head count of 74,000 in fiscal 2020 was down from the more than 91,000 people it employed in 2019 before the pandemic started.
Starting Sept. 12, U.S. Delta employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to take weekly COVID tests while "community case rates are high."
Effective Sept. 30, COVID pay protection will be provided only to fully vaccinated individuals who suffer a breakthrough infection.
Delta's employee situation is unique among major airlines as its flight attendants are not part of a union, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.
The Association of Flight Attendants, the country's largest flight-attendant union, did not immediately return a request for comment on Delta's plan to impose the health-care surcharge.
The union's FAQ page makes clear that employer vaccine mandates are legal, but there are exemptions for religious or health-related circumstances.
Delta Air shares at last check were up 2.1% at $41.36.