The United States and Europe are experiencing widespread disruptions to air travel as a result of the virus, which has spread across Africa. Delta Airlines alone has canceled more than 1,000 flights in recent days. The company is working with state health agencies to provide passengers with additional information about preventative measures they can take.
United and Delta Airlines have both cancelled flights due to the spread of a virus called Omicron.
United Airlines Holdings Inc. UAL 0.67 percent is postponing dozens of flights over the holiday weekend due to an increase in Covid-19 cases affecting personnel, while Delta Air Lines Inc. DAL 0.43 percent is also suspending flights due to the Omicron variant.
At both airlines, cancellations account for a modest percentage of scheduled flights.
According to FlightAware, a flight-tracking website, United has canceled around 136 flights scheduled for Friday, or roughly 7% of its planned schedule, and about 28 flights booked for Saturday.
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United said it was deleting certain flights as a precautionary measure to avoid last-minute delays. Because to Covid-19 infection or exposure, several pilots and flight attendants will be unable to work.
United noted in a statement that “the countrywide rise of Omicron cases this week has had a direct effect on our flight crews and the employees who operate our business.”
United is taking efforts to cover flights, according to a spokesman, including employing bigger planes and rerouting pilots.
Delta cited a number of considerations in its decision to postpone certain flights in the coming days, including the Omicron variant’s effect and the possibility of inclement weather in some places.
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“Before canceling over 90 flights for Friday, Delta teams have tried all alternatives and resources, including rerouting and aircraft and crew substitutes to cover planned flying,” the company said in a statement.
Following reports that some workers may have been exposed to the virus, Alaska Air Group Inc. ALK 1.59 percent canceled 17 flights on Thursday and warned it may have to cancel more. “Extra compensation for our healthy staff who can work additional shifts throughout this upcoming Christmas weekend,” the airline stated.
Airlines have predicted that this week and next would be among the busiest since the outbreak. Even as restaurants, entertainment venues, and other businesses have begun to feel the consequences of the rising case numbers, U.S. airports have remained booming.
Other carriers have warned in recent days that as the Omicron version rushes throughout the United States, there may be staff shortages that disrupt operations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now advises isolating fully vaccinated persons with breakthrough infections for 10 days, which Delta and JetBlue Airways Corp. have requested be shortened.
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In a letter delivered Thursday, Airlines for America, a trade organization that represents major airlines such as United, Delta, and JetBlue, repeated that request.
A4A Chief Executive Nick Calio wrote to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, “That personnel is important to allow Americans who need to travel domestically or internationally and to maintain cargo supply networks running.” “The Omicron surge may worsen staff shortages and cause severe disruptions to our workforce and operations, just as it has in the healthcare, police, fire, and public transportation industries.”
The CDC modified its recommendations on Thursday, recommending that healthcare workers with Covid-19 who are symptom-free may return to work after seven days with a negative test, and that isolation durations can be reduced further if staffing shortages exist. The new restrictions are exclusively for healthcare personnel, according to the agency.
Several airlines were already experiencing labor shortages when they resumed service this year, while United has mostly avoided these issues.
United was one of the first big American corporations to require its employees to comply with a rigid immunization policy. The majority of the airline’s 67,000 U.S. employees, including all customer-facing staff, have been vaccinated, while 2,000 have sought exemptions for medical or religious reasons. Delta has placed a $200 monthly penalty on employees who have not been vaccinated, despite the fact that the majority of its personnel has been vaccinated.
Amplifications and corrections According to FlightAware, a flight monitoring website, United has canceled around 28 flights scheduled for Saturday. Sunday was wrongly stated in a previous version of this story. (This was updated on December 23.)
Alison Sider can be reached at [email protected]
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The “google flights” is a recent airline that has been cancelling some of their flights. United and Delta are just two of the airlines that have cancelled flights due to the Omicron spreading.
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