Alaska Airlines to reduce flights in January

Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 12:57 PM AKST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2022 at 5:17 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska Airlines announced in a press release on Thursday that they would reduce departures by approximately 10% through the end of the month.

Due to disruptions in staffing levels from the omicron variant of COVID-19, Alaska Airlines will focus the majority of their departure reductions on out-of-state flights.

“The majority of this schedule reduction will occur in the Lower 48. There are not significant changes to our normal January flying to communities in Alaska,” External Affairs Manager Tim Thompson said in an email to Alaska’s News Source.

The press release issued an apology to guests and said that “unprecedented employee sick calls” have curtailed the capacity for the airline to operate reliably. Thompson said that as may as 75 departures could be reduced, depending on the day. Thompson also said that no flights between Alaska communities would be reduced, but that flights from the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to the Lower 48 would be, including some flights from Anchorage to Seattle.

“The majority are across the network in the Lower 48 and from hub cities,” Thompson said.

Alaska Airlines currently has a requirement for all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but has not recently announced any updates to mitigation policies on their aircraft. Both Alaska Airlines staff and guests are required to wear masks as part of the Next-Level Care program, which also includes enhanced cleaning procedures.

“This will give us the flexibility and capacity needed to reset while continued flexible travel policies enable guests to adjust their plans accordingly,” the release said.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include additional information.

Clarification: This article has been updated to clarify that only flights from the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to the Lower 48 will be reduced, not flights from other Alaska airports to the Lower 48.

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