Airlines Still Face Cabin Crew Shortages and the CDC Says That Half of Travel Destinations are Risky

The CDC’s highest risk level, level 4, has now swelled to almost 140 places, illustrating the rapid surge of the Omicron variant around the world. In early January, there were around 80 destinations listed there.

Recently, there were six additions to the “very high” risk Level 4 category. They are Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea; Belarus, located in a presently very tense spot bordering Russia and Ukraine; Comoros, an archipelago off Africa’s east coast; French Polynesia in the South Pacific; Saint Pierre and Miquelon, a French archipelago south of Canada’s Newfoundland; and South Korea.

Meanwhile, airlines like British Airways are facing such a severe staffing crunch that it has put a call out to pilots and office-based staff to work as cabin crew for up to two and half months, internal documents detailing the plan reveal.

Pilots and other workers have been asked to sign up for a program that the airline has dubbed “Take to the Skies” and which will see them undergo basic cabin crew training and act as stand-ins. The airline is looking to recruit as many as 3,000 cabin crew ahead of the summer and has been offering serving staff an incentive bonus of £300 for convincing friends and family members to sign up for the job.

As an extra incentive, new recruits will get access to deeply discounted concessional travel deals from the moment they start at BA rather than after six months as is usually standard.

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