Airlines around the world canceled over 4,500 commercial flights over the Christmas weekend, as the growing wave of cases of COVID-19, mainly Omicron mutation, created more uncertainty and difficulties for holiday travelers.
Airlines around the world canceled at least 2,401 flights yesterday, Christmas Eve, which is typically a busy day at airports, according to a count on FlightAware.com. Nearly 10,000 more flights were delayed. According to the same source, 1,779 flights were canceled worldwide on Christmas Day, as well as 402 more that were scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday.
Air traffic within USA as well as to or from the country accounts for more than a quarter of all flights canceled for the weekend, according to FlightAware. Among the first American companies to announce a wave of cancellations for the Christmas weekend was United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, which together canceled almost 280 flights yesterday alone, citing staff shortages amid an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.
In recent days, cases of COVID-19 in the US have increased due to the highly contagious Omicron strain., which was first detected in November and now accounts for almost three-quarters of infections in the US, and even 90% of cases in some areas. The average number of new coronavirus cases in the US has increased by 45% to 179,000 per day last week, according to a Reuters count.
Only yesterday, New York recorded more than 44,000 new confirmed infections, surpassing the daily record of that state. At least 10 other states set new records in 24 hours on Thursday or Friday.
Source: ΑΠΕ – ΜΠΕ