Delta CEO says 8,000 workers have examined optimistic for Covid in final 4 weeks


A Delta Air Traces worker works on the departures degree at Los Angeles Worldwide Airport (LAX) on August 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

Mario Tama | Getty Pictures

Delta Air Traces CEO Ed Bastian stated about 8,000 of its 75,000 workers examined optimistic for Covid-19 during the last 4 weeks, absences that marred the corporate’s monetary outcomes throughout a busy vacation journey season.

Delta reported a loss for the quarter and forecast one other for the primary three months of the yr due to the fast-spreading omicron variant, however predicted journey would start to rebound once more in late February.

A sequence of winter storms and airline crews sidelined by omicron infections contributed to greater than 20,000 U.S. flight cancellations industrywide between Christmas Eve and the primary week of January. United Airways CEO Scott Kirby on Monday stated 3,000 of its near 70,000 U.S. workers have been optimistic for Covid.

Flight cancellations have eased considerably previously few days. Delta stated that its operation has since stabilized and that 1% of its flights have been canceled over the previous week due to omicron.

The workers who examined optimistic had “no important well being points,” Bastian stated in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Field” after releasing quarterly outcomes.

Delta late final yr up to date its sick go away coverage for workers who take a look at optimistic for Covid-19, offering them 5 days of pay, exterior of sick banks, and a further two days in the event that they take a look at optimistic on the fifth day. Beforehand employees had 10 days of paid go away for Covid infections apart from common sick days. That got here after the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention up to date its tips for Covid quarantining, halving its suggestion to 5 days.

Delta and different airways had urged the CDC to make the change.

The most important U.S. flight attendants union criticized Delta’s coverage. Sara Nelson, president of the Affiliation of Flight Attendants, tweeted final week that Delta “is telling staff throughout work teams that they need to come to work w/ signs even when somebody within the family examined optimistic.” She additionally stated that optimistic staff have been informed to “come to work after 5 days if the fever is beneath 100.9, even when nonetheless testing optimistic.”

Delta issued a cease-and-desist letter to the union over its president’s feedback. The union is making an attempt to arrange the airline’s flight attendants, one of many final nonunion flight attendant teams within the U.S.

Bastian defended the coverage and stated it was primarily based on CDC steering.

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