NewsWorldU.S. airlines scrap nearly 1,000 Christmas Day flights due to Omicron, 6300...

U.S. airlines scrap nearly 1,000 Christmas Day flights due to Omicron, 6300 globally

 

U.S. airlines scrapped nearly 1,000 flights on Christmas Day, the second straight day of massive cancellations as surging COVID-19 infections have sidelined some pilots and other crew members, upending plans for tens of thousands of holiday travelers over the Christmas weekend.

A total of 957 Christmas Day flights, including domestic flights and those into or out of the country, were canceled, up from 690 on Christmas Eve, according to a running tally on flight-tracking website FlightAware.com. Nearly 2,000 flights were delayed.

At least one airline said that it expects hundreds more cancellations today.

The Christmas holidays are typically a peak time for air travel, but the rapid spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant has led to a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections, forcing airlines to cancel flights as pilots and crew need to be quarantined.

“The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation,” United Airlines spokesperson Maddie King said. She said the cancellations made up a small portion of United’s 4,000 average daily flights during the holiday season.

More than 6,300 flights were cancelled globally this weekend, as hundreds of airline crew, mostly pilots, were in quarantine after contracting the Omicron variant.

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