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WASHINGTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) – United Airways Chief Government Scott Kirby mentioned on Tuesday that the corporate had about 3,000 staff who’ve examined optimistic for COVID-19 however its vaccinated staff had neither died nor not too long ago been hospitalized with the illness.
Chicago-based United was the primary U.S. service to mandate vaccines for its staff as a way to facilitate journey and flight operations. Airways have cancelled hundreds of flights since late December, when the surge in Omicron instances and winter climate started impacting schedules.
Kirby mentioned in a memo Tuesday that “since our vaccine coverage went into impact, the hospitalization fee amongst our staff has been 100x decrease than the final inhabitants within the U.S.”
Earlier than United’s vaccination necessities have been put in place, “tragically, multiple United worker on common *per week* was dying from COVID,” Kirby mentioned. “However we’ve now gone eight straight weeks with zero COVID-related deaths amongst our vaccinated staff.”
United’s prior expertise and nationwide COVID information suggests “there are roughly 8-10 United staff who’re alive at present due to our vaccine requirement,” mentioned Kirby.
He mentioned the airline was “lowering our near-term schedules to ensure we have now the staffing and assets to deal with clients.”
Final month, Kirby defended the airline’s vaccine mandate choice within the face of Republican criticism.
“We did this for security,” Kirby mentioned at a U.S. Senate listening to. “We do not compromise on security.
Kirby mentioned final month about 200 staff didn’t adjust to United’s mandate and have been fired out of its 67,000 staff. He added about 6 pilots have been fired and 80 placed on unpaid miss of about 13,000.
Rival American Airways mentioned on Friday that greater than 96% of its staff have submitted proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a request for an lodging.
Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru; Modifying by Ramakrishnan M. and Bernadette Baum