United Airlines Trims Flights After 3,000 Employees Test Positive

United Airlines Co. (UAL) would be cutting down the number of flights after many of its staff tested positive for the virus. The airline company cancelled many flights over the year-end holidays through early this year due to Covid infections among crews and a series of winter storms. Among all airlines, JetBlue was the first one to reduce flights due to an increase in infection rates among crews, followed by Alaska Airlines and American Airlines.

The adjustments are the latest move by an airline to cope with the rapid spread of the omicron variant. United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said in a memo published on the company's website on Monday that United is "reducing our near-term schedules to make sure we have the staffing and resources to take care of customers."

A spokeswoman on Tuesday declined to say how many flights the carrier is cancelling. Kirby said in the company memo, United has about 3,000 workers who are currently positive for Covid.

"Just as an example, in one day alone at Newark or New Jersey, nearly one-third of our workforce called out sick," he added. He said that none of the carrier's vaccinated employees, which make up more than 96 percent of its staff, are hospitalized and that it hasn't had a Covid-related death among inoculated employees in eight weeks.

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