United Airways would require all U.S. staff to be vaccinated, a primary for nation’s carriers

United Airlines will require its 67,000 US employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19 by October 25th or risk firing, a first for major US airlines that is likely to put pressure on rivals.

Hours after United’s announcement on Friday, discount stores Border airlines said it Employees must be vaccinated by October 1st or get tested regularly for Covid.

Airlines, including United, had opposed vaccine mandates for all workers and instead offered incentives such as extra pay or time off to get vaccinated. Delta Airlines in May, newly hired employees were required to provide proof of vaccination. United followed in June.

United’s requirement is one of the strictest vaccination regulations of any US company and involves employees who regularly interact with customers such as flight attendants and gate agents.

US companies like Facebook Registered employees must provide evidence of a vaccination to return to the office. Others only ask for it for certain employees. Walmart, for example, said last week that it will be required for company employeesbut no warehouse or warehouse workers. above said US Office staff must be vaccinated in order to return to work in person, but they no longer have to be required for drivers.

Meat packers Tyson Foods said its 120,000 US employees this week must be fully vaccinated this year, however, according to the company, there are already 56,000.

“We know some of you will disagree with this decision to require the vaccine for all United employees,” United CEO Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart said in an employee note Friday. “But we have no greater responsibility to you and your colleagues than to ensure your safety at work, and the facts are crystal clear: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated.”

Kirby said he wanted to in January Make Covid vaccines mandatory and that other companies should do the same.

Ending the Covid-19 pandemic is especially critical for airlines, which are among the industries hardest hit by the pandemic. While summer vacation bookings exceeded the expectations of most executives, the rapidly spreading Delta variant begins weigh on requestFrontier Airlines said earlier this week.

“In the past 16 months, Scott has sent dozens of letters of condolence to the family members of United employees who have died of COVID-19,” executives said. “We are determined to do everything in our power to prevent any other United family from receiving this letter.”

United Airlines employees must upload proof that they have received two cans Pfizer or Modern Vaccines or a dose of Johnson & Johnson‘s single dose five weeks after full approval by federal officials or by October 25, whichever comes first, executives said. Exceptions are made for specific health or religious reasons, United said.

The mandate does not apply to regional airlines flying shorter routes for United.

Many of United’s employees have already reported they have been vaccinated, including more than 90% of pilots and 80% of flight attendants, company officials said. United did not disclose the company’s overall vaccination rate.

This compares with about 60% of the American Airlines‘Pilots are being vaccinated,’ said an Aug. 5 letter to members of their union, the Allied Pilots Association, encouraging Airmen to get vaccinated.

United didn’t say what the company’s overall vaccination rate is.

The decision was driven in part by concerns about a spike in Covid-19 cases over the past fall and winter, company officials said.

The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents United’s more than 12,000 airmen, believes the mandate is legal. It said the “small number of pilots” who disagree with the policy or plan to remain unvaccinated should contact their chief pilot’s office.

The flight attendants’ union, the Association of Flight Attendants, urged cabin crew to get vaccinated following United’s announcement.

“COVID-19 is a threat,” the union told members. “There are proven strategies to mitigate this threat. Vaccinations are necessary to end the pandemic and the health and economic damage it has caused.”

For its part, American Airlines said it has not changed its policy of promoting, but not mandating, vaccines for employees. Delta Airlines said it “strongly” encourages workers to be vaccinated but does not require it for all of its employees, except for new hires. More than 73% of the approximately 75,000 employees are vaccinated, it said.

Southwest Airlines did not say whether it plans to prescribe vaccines but said its policy has not been changed.

Spirit Airways CEO on what prompted the service’s meltdown

People wait in line at a Spirit Airlines counter at George Bush Intercontinental Airport on August 5, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images

The causes of Spirit Airlines‘ fixed Flight cancellations that derailed tens of thousands of customers’ summer vacation this week have been brewing for more than a month, said CEO Ted Christie.

A combination of July flight delays, staffing bottlenecks, technology issues and a surge in travel that surprised most airlines culminated in more than 1,700 canceled flights since Sunday, some days of which made up more than half of Spirit’s flight schedule.

And for travelers, the trouble is not over yet. Christie said the airline would have to cancel additional flights in the next few days to get back on track.

“There are definitely some angry people out there,” he told reporters Thursday night. “At the moment I can only say that we are very sorry about what happened.”

The chaos enraged stranded customers at airports and sparked angry news online that presented Christie with one of his biggest tests since he took office as CEO on New Year’s Day 2019.

“That’s a punch in the heart for everyone,” said Christie.

Chronic delays in July piled up, causing staff shortages as crews timed out and reached the maximum time they could legally work each day, he said. It got dramatically worse over the weekend and the days that followed.

“We couldn’t stand in front of it,” said Christie. He estimated “tens or hundreds of thousands” of customers were affected by the disruption at Spirit and said it was too early to assess the financial impact on the company.

On Thursday alone, 446 Spirit flights were canceled, 56% of operations.

A sharp recovery in summer travel has been a headache for summer travelers as airlines and their contractors have faced staff shortages associated with the usual annoying summer storms.

Spirit, based in Miramar, Florida, has improved its reliability over the past few years, becoming in 2017 Walt DisneyThe company’s leadership and training subsidiary, the Disney Institute, to improve customer service.

“We will do everything we can to regain the trust of our guests and the traveling public. We believe we can do that,” Christie said on the call on Thursday. He said the airline is giving cash refunds to affected customers.

In hindsight, Spirit should have canceled more flights earlier to allow time for recalibration, Christie said. Instead, the airline tried to maintain flights to serve large numbers of customers, many of whom were flying for the first time since the pandemic began.

The airline forecast last month that it would fly nearly 11% more flights in the third quarter than in the same period in 2019, a much stronger rebound than most airlines.

Christie said he and other executives are looking at ways to deploy more backup staff, faster response to disruptions, and better technology.

“We’re starting to turn the corner and get our legs under us so we can start going back to where we were before,” Christie said.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct a headline.

American Airways shares rise on service’s higher second-quarter forecast

American Airlines flight takes off from Miami, Florida.

Marco Bello | Reuters

American Airlines Shares rose after the airline forecast better revenue and a smaller loss for the second quarter than previously estimated, the latest sign of airlines recovering from travel expenses from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline said Tuesday that it expects a “slight” pre-tax profit for the second quarter. It said it is expected to release results from a net loss of $ 35 million to a net income of $ 25 million for the three months ended June 30. Excluding net special items, it expects a net loss of up to $ 1.2 billion and a stock loss of between $ 1.67 and $ 1.76. That compares to analyst estimates of $ 2.44 per share.

“We are clearly moving in the right direction,” said CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom in an employee statement.

American stock was up more than 2% in early trading on Wednesday.

Air traffic has recovered strongly since the spring when Covid-19 Vaccines became widespread in the U.S., and officials lifted restrictions banning attractions from indoor restaurants to theme parks.

American said it flew 44 million passengers in the second quarter, an 82% increase from the first three months of 2021, albeit still below 2019 levels.

Revenue for the quarter ended last month was likely 37.5% below the same period in 2019 when it generated $ 11.96 billion, compared to an earlier estimate of a 40% decline.

American expects the daily cash build rate to be around $ 1 million per day, the first positive quarter since the pandemic began.

US airlines have at times struggled to meet the rapidly growing demand for travel.

As of March 2020, airlines have received $ 54 billion in federal payroll allowance in exchange for not laying off workers. This has contributed to staffing bottlenecks that have arisen in certain workgroups such as customer service reps and pilots.

Americans for his part cut his schedule for the first half of July by 1% and canceled flights in the last month partly due to a lack of trained and available pilots or other personnel.

“Restoring service this quickly in response to unprecedented growth in demand is incredibly complex,” write Isom and Parker. “But the Americans are facing the situation, and the results prove it.”

The airline is expected to release its quarterly results on July 22nd before the market opens.