By Albert Kuan
Omicron Hits Aeromexico, Cancels More Than 260 Flights in Four Days
Aeromexico canceled more than 260 flights from Jan. 6-10 due to a highly contagious outbreak of Covid-19 that has spread amongst its pilots and flight attendants. According to the Mexican government’s Consumer Protection Office (PROFECO) who provided the statistic, a high number of crew members on the sick list has caused staff shortages for the Skyteam carrier, resulting in subsequent delays and cancellations.
A majority of the cancellations originated at Benito Juárez International Airport in Mexico City, where Aeromexico is based. Hundreds of affected travelers this past weekend were not able to take their flights due to the cancellations, and the airline set up temporary modules inside Terminal 2 to provide information and accommodate affected travelers.
According to the union representing Aeromexico’s flight attendants (ASSA), at least 140 Aeromexico flight attendants were infected with Covid-19 and taken off flights. And according to the union representing Aeromexico pilots (ASPA), more than 83 pilots, including 14 from Aeromexico Connect, have developed symptoms and are also in quarantine.
According to a source close to the airline, many able pilots and flight attendants are now being flown in mass to the airline’s hub in Mexico City from other Aeromexico crew bases such as Guadalajara to cover the affected flights.
Aeromexico acknowledged the impact of the Covid-19 and flight delays due to this situation and is still bracing its customers for more cancellations as case numbers continue to increase among their staff. The airline has added a flexible travel waiver for flights booked on or after January 11 which allows travelers to change the date of their flight at no extra cost.
“The new wave of infections by Covid-19 has impacted world aviation causing effects on some flights. For Aeromexico, the safety of our customers and collaborators is and will always be the main priority,” said Aeromexico during a press conference in Mexico City.
“We focus efforts on minimizing the impact and we work to serve in the best possible way customers who have had modifications in their travel plans, to take them to their destination with the greatest safety and in the shortest possible time.”
Aeromexico added that a flight delay or cancellation is not a decision they take lightly and is always taken as the last resort. According to the airline, 95% of its 1,800 union pilots have a complete vaccination scheme against Covid-19.
Mexico’s VivaAerobus and Volaris have also seen an uptick in cases amongst its crew members and staff but very few flights have been delayed or canceled thus far.