NATIONAL NEWS

United Airlines is reducing flights amid Omicron surge

Jan 11, 2022, 5:49 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:22 pm

United Airlines planes sit on the runway at Newark Liberty International Airport on November 30, 20...

United Airlines planes sit on the runway at Newark Liberty International Airport on November 30, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. The United States, and a growing list of other countries, has restricted flights from southern African countries due to the detection of the COVID-19 Omicron variant last week in South Africa. Stocks in the travel and airline industry have fallen in recent days as fears grow over the spread and severity of the variant. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(CNN) — United Airlines said it is reducing its flight schedule in hopes of stemming Covid-related staffing shortages that have caused thousands of flight cancellations across the industry.

In a new company-wide memo, CEO Scott Kirby said the airline is “reducing our near-term schedules to make sure we have the staffing and resources to take care of customers.”

Kirby did not specify by how much the airline is drawing down flights. But the memo added that “the Omicron surge has put a strain on our operation, resulting in customer disruptions during a busy holiday season.” He went on to thank employees for their professionalism in handling the delays.

United is hardly alone in dealing with delays and canceled flights. JetBlue Airways recently reduced its schedule by about 1,280 flights, roughly 10% of its schedule, from January 6 through January 13 because a growing number of crew members were falling sick.

Airlines have been canceling hundreds of flights every day in the United States since Christmas Eve as they grapple with staff shortages due to Covid-19 infections and bad weather in parts of the country. JetBlue is based in New York City, which has been struggling with record-high numbers of positive cases.

“I also know that Omicron has affected the personal well-being of our United team. We have about 3,000 employees who are currently positive for COVID,” Kirby said in the memo. On one day at Newark, nearly a third of JetBlue’s workforce called out sick, he added.

Some 3,000 United employees currently are positive for Covid, but none of the company’s vaccinated employees are hospitalized, according to the memo. The hospitalization rate among United employees has plunged since the company’s vaccine mandate went into effect by “100 times lower than the general US population,” Kirby said.

Previously, more than one United employee per week was dying from Covid. More recently, the company has gone eight straight weeks with no deaths among its vaccinated employees, he added.

– An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the company with 3,000 sick staff members. United Airlines said about 3,000 employees are currently infected with Covid.

– Jordan Valinsky and Reuters contributed to this story.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Cave filled with clear water...

CNN

You know the most visited, but here are the least visited US national parks in 2023

There are no roads and no trails in America’s least-visited national park. Just vast wilderness. Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve, located 200 miles (322 kilometers) north of Fairbanks, stretches over 8.4 million acres.

7 hours ago

Taylor Swift is pictured at the Chiefs-Dolphins playoff game in Kansas City in January. (Ed Zurga, ...

Alli Rosenbloom, CNN

Taylor Swift baked ‘homemade Pop-Tarts’ for Travis Kelce’s teammates, says coach Andy Reid

Thanks to her well-known love of baking, Taylor Swift won over her boyfriend Travis Kelce’s Kansas City Chiefs teammates the old-fashioned way: by baking them “homemade Pop-Tarts,” according to the team’s coach Andy Reid.

8 hours ago

The lowest single-day price for Animal Kingdom has gone up by $10 for 2025 tickets. (AaronP/Bauer-G...

Marnie Hunter, CNN

Walt Disney World has raised ticket prices for 2025

Walt Disney World has put 2025 tickets on sale, and prices for many tickets have gone up from 2024 pricing.

9 hours ago

FILE - A solar farm sits in Mona, Utah, on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. The House voted Friday, April 28,...

Sophie Austin, Associated Press/Report for America

Biden administration taps $366M to fund clean energy for Native American tribes and rural areas

The federal government will fund 17 projects across the U.S. to expand access to renewable energy on Native American reservations and in other rural areas, the Biden administration announced on Tuesday.

10 hours ago

Police in the Caribbean are investigating the disappearance of an American couple after escaped inm...

Polo Sandoval, Elizabeth Wolfe and Sahar Akbarzai, CNN

Missing American couple allegedly hijacked on yacht in Grenada were likely thrown overboard, police say

The American couple allegedly hijacked by escaped prisoners while on their yacht in Grenada last week were likely thrown overboard, police said.

10 hours ago

FILE - The Toyota Motor Corp. logo is seen, May 11, 2022, at a dealer in Tokyo. In a statement issu...

Associated Press

Toyota recalling 381,000 Tacoma pickups because parts can fall off rear axles, increasing crash risk

Toyota is recalling about 381,000 Tacoma midsize pickup trucks in the U.S. because a part can separate from the rear axle, increasing the risk of a crash.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

United Airlines is reducing flights amid Omicron surge