Flight attendant training at American Airlines has been temporarily suspended at the training center in Grapevine near the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport due to several of the trainers testing positive for COVID-19. Non-essential training has been suspended for the week to carry out a deep clean for the classrooms and facilities.
Dallas is experiencing another spike in COVID-19 cases. The positivity rate for the tests has gone up to as high as 14.2 per cent in the past few days with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins calling on the local community to “curve the current spike before it becomes a wave that further endangers public health and the economy.”
The airline wants to avoid a repeat of a COVID-19 outbreak at the Hawaiian Airlines training center in Honolulu, during which 15 attendants fell ill with the virus. A long serving LA-based flight attendant for Hawaiian died in the hospital several weeks after becoming infected.
Trainers and flight attendants are required to respect social distancing rules and wear face coverings in the complex. A temperature check must be done for anyone entering the building.
Whistleblowers involved in the Hawaiian Airlines outbreak claimed social distancing was not adhered to in aircraft mockups and the airline did not require flight attendants to wear face masks. Masks have since been made mandatory during the trainings for Hawaiian Airlines, and the course has been modified to respect social distancing.
American Airlines had been forced to put their flight trainings on hold before. In March, the FAA granted permission to the airline to postpone repeated trainings for the more experienced flight attendants. The decision was made after there were reports that some crew members tested positive for COVID-19 after attending trainings.