(NEXSTAR) – Yet another airline is canceling hundreds of flights amid an increase in sick calls over COVID-19. JetBlue, one of the largest carriers in the country, canceled 1,280 flights in advance from late December to January 13.
In a statement to Nexstar, the airline said, “Like many businesses and organisations, we have seen an increase in the number of sick calls from Omicron. We have entered the holiday season with the highest staffing levels we have had since the pandemic began and are using all available resources to meet our staffing needs. To inform customers as much as possible to work on alternative plans and revise them on other flights, we are proactively reducing our schedule through January 13.”
Based on Flight knowledge, a flight tracking service, JetBlue canceled 175 flights on Thursday and another 143 on Friday. Nearly 80 were canceled for Saturday.
The fee has been applied to all customers traveling through the end of January who want to adjust their plans. More details can be found on JetBlue’s website.
In canceling flights, the company said it was focusing on flights “where customers have the least disruption, especially in cases where we can combine flights to the same destination.”
According to JetBlue, many of its employees are volunteering to work overtime to minimize the impact on flights. The company is also calling out leaders and managers to frontline employee operations.
This comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cut isolation restrictions 10 to five days for Americans infected with coronavirus, and similarly shortens the time that close contacts need to be quarantined. JetBlue says that while this benefits the airline, more cancellations are still possible.
“While the new CDC guidelines will help get crew members back to work sooner, the reduction in schedules and our other efforts will help reduce cancellations during the day. , we expect the number of COVID cases in the northeast – where most of our crew members are based – to continue to increase over the next week or two. This means there is a high chance of further cancellations until the number of cases starts to drop. “
Flight cancellations have increased nationally since Christmas. United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are forced to cancel dozens of flights for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, largely due to the omicron variation affecting personnel.
Earlier this week, many of the country’s airlines had to cancel flights not only due to staff reasons but also due to inclement weather. More than 1,500 flights to, from or within the United States were canceled on Sunday. As of Monday evening, 3,105 flights had been canceled and 14,239 flights delayed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
https://kfor.com/news/jetblue-cancels-over-1200-flights-into-january-due-to-omicron/ JetBlue cancels more than 1,200 flights in January due to omicron