Airlines have canceled more than 20,000 flights since Christmas Eve as coronavirus outbreaks among workers disrupt schedules across the US.
United Airlines Holdings Inc. Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby described in an internal memo to workers on Tuesday that the rapidly spreading omicron variant of COVID-19 has resulted in thousands of its workers calling out sick, forcing the airline to reduce its near-term flight schedule.
"In one day alone at Newark, nearly one-third of our workforce called out sick," Kirby wrote. "To those who are out sick or isolating, we wish you a speedy recovery."
He said approximately 3,000 of its workers are currently infected. That figure represents about 3.5% of its 85,000 employees.