JetBlue Cancels Nearly 1,300 Flights to Manage Omicron Staff Shortage

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JetBlue Airways has cut about 1,280 flights between December 30 and January 13 to deal with the staff crunch related to Omicron.

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“In order to give our customers as much notice as possible to make alternate plans and re-adjust them to other flights, we are reducing our schedule until January 13,” a JetBlue spokesperson said. baron’s in an email.

All JetBlue (ticker: JBLU) fares, except Blue Basic fares, come with free change and the ability to cancel. But the company has instituted a fee waiver for all customers traveling through January who want to adjust their plans, the spokesperson said.

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The airline was offering additional incentives for crew members to take additional shifts and combine flights to the same destination, the spokesperson said.

According to the tracking website, about 2,870 flights were canceled around the world on Wednesday, of which more than 1,000 were within, in or out of the US. information about flying, More than 15,500 flights were delayed.

Globally, airlines canceled more than 6,000 flights on Christmas Eve, Christmas and the day after Christmas – one of the busiest weekends for travel during the holiday season. Shares of US carriers fell on Monday due to cancellations, but most were rallying on Thursday.

Airlines for America, a trade group for US air carriers, wrote to Center for Disease Control director Rochelle Valensky on December 23, asking the agency to update the current 10-day isolation guideline on COVID-19, which is completely have been vaccinated. The letter echoed a request written by Delta Air Lines (DAL) last Tuesday,

The CDC on Monday changed its quarantine guidelines, which shorten the recommended isolation time to five days for people who contract the virus, with an additional masking period of five days.

JetBlue said the new guidelines will help crew members get back to work sooner and schedule cuts will reduce the number of days of cancellations. But rising Covid cases in the Northeast, where most of the airline’s crew are based, may continue to impact flight plans.

“There is a possibility of additional cancellations until the number of cases comes down,” the company said.

Shares of JetBlue were up 0.2% on Thursday morning. Delta stock gained 1.1%, American Airlines (AAL) 1.2% and United Airlines (UAL) gained 1.3%.

Write to Sabrina Escobar at [email protected]

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