6,300 flights canceled as Omicron hits Christmas travels

TEHRAN, Dec. 26 (MNA) – More than 6,000 flights have been cancelled worldwide over the long Christmas weekend and thousands more were delayed, according to a tracking website, as the highly infectious Omicron variant brings holiday hurt to millions.

Compounding the travel chaos in the United States, severe weather in the country’s west is due to wreak havoc on roadways and other routes there, although it may well bring a white Christmas weekend to the northwestern US cities of Seattle and Portland, Al-Jazeera reported.

According to Flightaware.com, nearly 2,800 flights were scrubbed around the globe on Saturday, including more than 970 originating from or headed to US airports, with more than 8,000 delays as of 01:30 GMT.

On Friday, there were approximately 2,400 cancellations and 11,000 delays, while Sunday cancellations have already surpassed 1,100.

Pilots, flight attendants and other employees have been calling in sick or having to quarantine after exposure to COVID-19, forcing some airlines and many other short-staffed carriers to cancel flights during one of the year’s peak travel periods.

Flightaware data showed an airline cancelled about 200 flights on Friday and nearly 250 Saturday – about 10 percent of those that were scheduled.

A scramble to reroute pilots and planes and reassign employees was underway, but Omicron’s surge has upended business.

The cancellations added to the pandemic frustration for many people eager to reunite with their families over the holidays after last year’s Christmas gatherings were severely curtailed.


News Code 182179


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