JetBlue Airways Corporation is reducing its schedule through January 13, 2022 by about 1,280 flights due to a surge in crew members calling in sick, instead of getting vaccinated?
Carriers 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 restrictions and bad weather in parts of the country.
Over 1,000 flights were canceled within, into, or out of the United States as of Thursday morning, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.com.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this week said it was not currently considering a vaccine mandate for passengers on domestic flights.
Delta Air Lines Inc soon after updated its policies for workers testing positive for COVID-19 by providing them five days of paid leave to isolate, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing an internal company communication.
The company is also encouraging, but not requiring, those workers to take COVID-19 tests to go back to work, according to the report. Delta did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
As major airlines grapple with holiday flight cancellations caused by staff being stricken by the Corona-virus, there is another problem looming on the horizon that could bring pain to the sector.
Long-time airline analyst Helane Becker of Cowen estimates the industry may need 35,000 to 40,000 new pilots over the next decade — to also offset an increase in retirements and keep pace with travel demand.
Reuters / ABC Flash Point News 2021.