Wow: 3,000 United Airlines Employees Have Coronavirus, But Zero Are Hospitalized

Scott Kirby, the CEO of United Airlines, sent a memo to his employees about the vaccine situation at the airline. United became the first major US airline to mandate that employees be vaccine free. There are some bad news and some very good news.

The number of employees who have tested positive for coronaviruses has led to a large number of operational issues at major airlines in the United States. The short-staffed airlines are making things worse by the level of omicron, because it takes a long time to train pilots.

Kirby says in the memo that there are 3,000 United employees with coronaviruses. In one day, nearly one-third of the workforce called in sick at Newark Airport. It doesn't mean that one-third of Newark employees tested positive for coronaviruses, but that many may have been in close contact with those who did.

Kirby has a memo about this.

While we try to avoid cancelling flights, we did our best to get ahead of the impact by notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport, and reducing our near-term schedules to make sure we have the staffing and resources. We have been able to get a high percentage of our customers on other flights and close to their original arrival time. The impact of Omicron and winter weather on our contact center hold times have not changed. Thanks to all of you and your teams, these results are a credit to you and your teams.

United employees are not hospitalized.

The really cool stat is here. The airline doesn't currently have any employees who are hospitalized because they don't have a vaccine. The airline has not had a coronaviruses-related death in eight weeks, and before the vaccine mandate there was an average of one United employee death per week due to coronaviruses.

Kirby has a memo about this.

The hospitalization rate among our employees has been 100x lower than the general population in the U.S. We have gone eight weeks without any COVID-related deaths among our vaccine employees, which is based on United's prior experience and the nationwide data related to COVID deaths among the unvaccinated.
Zero is the word that matters most in dealing with COVID. I know that some people still disagree with our policy, but United is proving that requiring the vaccine is the right thing to do because it saves lives.

The bottom line.

Scott Kirby, the CEO of United Airlines, sent a memo to employees that sheds light on why airlines are having so many operational issues. One day, one-third of the employees at Newark Airport called in sick due to coronaviruses, which is the same number as United.

The good news is that the airline hasn't had a death related to carbon dioxide in eight weeks. The airline had one death related to COVID-19 before the vaccine mandate.