Airline CEO reveals Covid staff numbers amid travel chaos — Action News Now

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Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian revealed that 8,000 of its 75,000 employees tested positive for Covid-19 within a few weeks, and he predicted future travel would be “difficult.”

Bastian revealed the numbers in an interview with CNBC on Thursday, predicting that the company will suffer losses in the first quarter of the year due to the unpredictability of Covid-19 and fast-spreading variants like Omicron.

About 8,000 Delta employees, or about 11 percent of the company’s workforce, have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past four weeks, Bastian said, leading to thousands of flight cancellations across the U.S. over the holiday season .

Earlier this week, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby similarly announced that 3,000 of its 70,000 employees had tested positive for Covid, forcing the company to reduce its schedule.

However, Bastian claimed that the situation started to stabilize and no sick leave developed into a more serious situation.

“We haven’t seen any major health issues, but it’s taken them out of operations for a while while we’ve had our busiest travel in two years,” he said. He said. He later added that the airline had only cancelled 1% of its flights over the past week.

Delta Air Lines is one of several airlines to cancel flights during the holiday season as it struggles to comply with Covid health guidelines. Mass cancellations due to COVID-19 and severe winter storms caused Delta to report a loss of $408 million in the final quarter of 2021.

In December, Bastian co-signed a letter asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to shorten its quarantine recommendation from 10 days to five days to help address staffing shortages, a move that was criticized by the Flight Attendants Association. criticism. After a few days, if asymptomatic, the recommendation is to shorten to five days of isolation after testing positive for Covid.