Thousands of United Airlines personnel have been sickened by COVID-19, according to the airline’s top executive on Tuesday. As a result, some domestic flights will have to be cancelled.
CEO Scott Kirby stated in a message to staff that was posted on the United website that no immunised United employees had died or been hospitalised as a result of COVID-19. However, he stated that the high number of sicknesses is causing disruptions in the airline’s flying schedule.
According to Kirby, around 3,000 United employees — or about 4 percent of the company’s U.S. workforce — are now sick with COVID-19, with some sites being particularly badly struck.
According to Kirby’s letter, the airline “works hard to prevent cancelling flights wherever possible,” but “we also work hard to stay ahead of the effect by acting early to cancel flights when necessary and contacting impacted customers in advance of their arrival at the airport.”
“To give you an illustration, approximately one-third of our employees in Newark [New Jersey] phoned in sick on a single day.”
Kirby did not specify which routes or flights will be cancelled, but he did emphasise that United’s vaccination obligation had prevented the staffing crisis from growing significantly worse.
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According to him, “Since the implementation of our immunisation strategy, the rate of hospitalisation among our personnel has been 100 times lower than the general population in the United States.”
United and other U.S. airlines cancelled thousands of flights in the United States during the Christmas travel season owing to an increase in COVID-19 disease among employees.