At least 75 Aeroméxico pilots are infected with covid-19, according to the Union Association of Airmen Pilots (ASPA). In addition, 140 airline flight attendants are infected with SARS-CoV-2, as reported by the Association of Aviation Flight Carriers of Mexico (ASSA) in a statement. To this are added 65 workers suspended “for lack of valid flight documents.” The organization attributes to the reduction of personnel the “cancellation of flights and affectation in the operation”. The Flight Aware portal, specialized in monitoring air traffic, has registered that this Friday at least 50 flights of the Mexican company have been canceled and dozens are listed as delayed. The airline has not confirmed the data, but recognizes “adjustments in planned operations.”
“We are applying follow-up protocols to various collaborators, including crews, which has implied making adjustments in planned operations,” the airline said in a brief statement. Aeroméxico has not confirmed to EL PAÍS how many members of its staff are infected with coronavirus, nor how many flights have been canceled. “Flight delay or cancellation is not a decision we make lightly and is always the last resort,” he said. The Federal Consumer Prosecutor’s Office (Profeco) has demanded this Friday that airlines inform passengers of the changes “as far in advance as possible” and offer them alternatives, since they are obliged by law to offer travelers “a high information level ”.
The Flight Aware portal, specialized in providing real-time data on air traffic, has reported that at least 50 flights of the Mexican airline are canceled this Friday. That is, 16% of all trips planned for today. From the Mexican capital, for example, 16 flights have been suspended to Tijuana, Monterrey, Mexicali, Guadalajara, Mérida, Chihuahua, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Ciudad Juárez or Villahermosa, as recorded this Friday after ten o’clock in the morning by the Benito airport Juárez on its website. Added to that were dozens of delayed journeys that, as users have criticized on social networks, may eventually be suspended or delayed even until the next day.
At the same time, Flight Aware reported 4,681 canceled flights around the world. The advancement of the omicron variant has hit airline staff and forced flights to be canceled in recent weeks. On Christmas Day, one of the busiest days of the year, there were more than 2,800 cancellations and 9,000 delays worldwide, according to Flight Aware. Airlines such as the United States United Airlines assured that the increase in omicron infections in the United States was having a “direct impact” on the crews; Germany’s Lufthansa reported the cancellation of several transatlantic routes due to the “massive increase” in sick leave among its pilots.
“Aeroméxico is no exception,” the ASSA stated in its statement. Mexico registered almost 26,000 cases of covid this Thursday and thus approached the historical maximum of infections. In some States, measures have been strengthened in the face of the new wave of infections. However, the federal government has ruled out for now the suspension of the economic reactivation. The president’s message has been that the new variant “is affecting a lot” and that “you have to take care of yourself.” States like Mexico City do not consider it either. “The strategy can no longer be to close economic activities because it has a lot of impact,” said the head of government of the capital, Claudia Sheinbaum.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Aeroméxico, like other airlines, suspended national and international air routes to contain the spread of viruses. Like other economic sectors, the aeronautical sector suffered the stoppage imposed by the disease. Given the collapse of its operations, in July 2020 Aeroméxico went bankrupt. By 2022, after a new financing of 1,725 million dollars, the company plans to get out of the crisis derived from the coronavirus, for which it calculates an influx of almost 26 million passengers.
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