Mass flight cancellations continue as Omicron spreads — Analysis
More than 2,300 cancellations were made by airlines around the world on Sunday. It was their third consecutive day. Holiday chaos was caused by staff shortages after positive Covid-19 tests.
Christmas Day and Christmas Eve saw over 4,500 cancellations and 11,000 delays worldwide. The majority were caused by American and Chinese airlines.
On Sunday, the disruptions were not stopped. Flight tracking company FlightAware reported that 2,323 flights had been cancelled and another 8,327 delayed as of Sunday afternoon. Of these delays, 2,187 – around a quarter – involved flights within, into, or out of the United States, as did 768 cancellations.
China Eastern, Air China and Delta Airlines cancelled the largest number of flights. There were also several Chinese and American carriers that were affected.
This weekend’s cancellations caused chaos for Christmas travel plans of tens to thousands around the globe. It also coincided with a global explosion of Covid-19 cases. Delta issued a statement about Christmas Day blaming the cancellations. “a combination of issues, including but not limited to inclement weather in some areas of the country and the impact of the Omicron variant.”
Although the Omicron variant symptoms are usually mild to moderate in nature, it is still a good idea to isolate yourself and stay home for those who test positive. The resultant staff shortages could cause flight cancellations for airlines.
“Like many businesses and organizations, we have seen an increasing number of sick calls from Omicron,”In a statement, a JetBlue spokesperson said that they were releasing the following: “Despite our best efforts, we’ve had to cancel a number of flights, and additional flight cancellations and other delays remain a possibility as we see more Omicron community spread.”
The American Automobile Association released figures earlier in the month that showed that airlines expect to experience an 184% rise in traffic between December 23rd and January 2, 2020. Between December 20th and January 3, the US Transportation Security Administration anticipated that nearly 30,000,000 people would be screened.
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