It turns out the coronavirus pandemic's financial assault on the airline industry was only the beginning. Now, at least two major airlines are reporting hundreds of employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
At least 600 Southwest employees and about 100 American Airlines workers have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in the past few days, representatives for both companies say. The infected employees are mostly flight attendants, officials say. The revelation follows news of a second American Airlines flight attendant's death at the hands of the virus.
The startling figures have sparked concern from union officials, who have called upon the airlines to improve working conditions. "There’s just no reason why aircraft can't be cleaned when they’re on the ground especially if they’re going to be on the ground for 50 minutes or more," says union rep Lyn Montgomery, who says she fears the number of cases will increase in coming days. "I just hope that we can get the proper equipment for them to make sure that they’re fully protected."