Over 7,000 flights canceled as Omicron hits Christmas weekend
Over 2,000 flights were canceled on Sunday with over 570 of them either coming from or arriving at US airports. There were around 4,000 delays recorded.
According to a tracking website, over 7,000 flights were canceled and thousands more were delayed during the Christmas weekend across the world, as the highly infectious Omicron variant wreaks havoc on millions of people.
Severe weather is adding to the travel mayhem in the United States, with storms anticipated to create turbulence on highways in the country's west, despite giving Seattle and parts of California a white Christmas weekend.
According to Flightaware.com, over 2,000 flights were canceled on Sunday with over 570 of them either coming from or arriving at US airports. There were around 4,000 delays recorded.
After being exposed to COVID-19, airline crews and field employees have become ill or are in quarantine, prompting Lufthansa, Delta, United Airlines, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, and other carriers to postpone flights during a busy travel season.
On Saturday, more than 2,800 flights were canceled globally including more than 990 from or to US airports, resulting in over 8,500 delays. There were approximately 2,400 cancellations and 11,000 delays on Friday.
"Help @united flight canceled again. I want to get home for Christmas," one irritated traveler from Vermont, the United States, tweeted early Saturday.
United stated on Friday saying that "The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation."
According to Flightaware.com, United canceled roughly 200 flights on Friday and over 250 on Saturday, accounting for about 10% of all scheduled flights.
Delta airlines said it had "exhausted all options and resources" after canceling 310 flights on Saturday and over 100 more on Sunday. The company stated, "We apologize to our customers for the delay in their holiday travel plans."
The cancellations contributed to the frustration of many people who were looking forward to spending the holidays with their family after last year's Christmas was tragically cut short.
Chinese carriers were responsible for the most cancellations, with China Eastern canceling almost 1,000 flights, or about 20% of its scheduled departures, on Friday and Saturday, and Air China canceling about 20% of its scheduled departures over the same period.