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.
“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 JetBlue 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.