With reference to an increase in the number of workers reporting sick with COVID-19, Alaska Airlines’ flights will be reduced by 10% by the end of January.
“As we enter 2022, the continued impact of omicron has been disruptive throughout our lives, and outstanding employee sick leave has affected our ability to operate our airline reliably,” Alaska Airlines External Affairs Tim Thompson said in a statement Thursday. .
Thompson added that the majority of the affected flights will be in Lower 48, with no significant changes to “our normal January flight to local communities in Alaska.”
During the holidays, adverse weather conditions coincided with an increasing number of covid-19 cases among the airline’s employees, delaying and canceling an exceptionally large number of flights just as the volume of domestic passengers increased.
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“Right now we need to build more reliability back into our operations when dealing with the effects of omicron and at a time when guests generally fly less,” said Thompson, referring to the winter months after the holidays when flights usually drop.
“This will give us the flexibility and capacity needed to reset while still flexible travel policies allow guests to adjust their plans accordingly,” he said.
Although the pervasive travel disruptions were felt nationwide, they were most acute along the west coast, and especially at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which serves as the main hub for flights to Alaska.