Severe winter weather and the rapid spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant have led to a sharp rise in infections, forcing several US airlines to cancel flights as pilots and crew quarantine.

The delivery firm said severe winter storms around the country, including at its main air hub in Memphis, Tennessee, are posing challenges and it is implementing contingency plans and adjusting operations to minimize disruptions.
The delivery firm said severe winter storms around the country, including at its main air hub in Memphis, Tennessee, are posing challenges and it is implementing contingency plans and adjusting operations to minimize disruptions. (Reuters)

FedEx Corp has warned that rising cases of Omicron variant have caused staff shortage and delay in shipments transported on aircraft.

"The explosive surge of the Covid-19 Omicron variant has caused a temporary shortage of available crew members and operational staff," the company said on Saturday.

The delivery firm said severe winter storms around the country, including at its main air hub in Memphis, Tennessee, are posing challenges and it is implementing contingency plans and adjusting operations to minimize disruptions.

Rival United Parcel Service Inc said that call-outs due to Omicron are not impacting their services, adding that contingency plans are in place.

READ MORE: Omicron dampens hopes for euro zone's economic rebound

"Recent weather events in the Louisville, Kentucky and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania areas caused some delivery delays," a UPS spokesperson said.

Severe winter weather and the rapid spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant have led to a sharp rise in infections, forcing several US airlines to cancel flights as pilots and crew quarantine.

Temporary relief

Inadequate staffing and other issues had on Thursday forced the US Postal Service, one of the largest civilian US employers, to seek for its 650,000 employees a temporary relief from the Biden administration's new vaccine or testing requirements covering large businesses.

READ MORE: Supply chain chaos takes a toll on post-Covid global recovery

US coronavirus deaths have risen by at least 2,133 on Thursday to 836,901 total versus 834,768 the previous day, according to a Reuters tally.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies