Omicron Variant Causes Airlines To Cancel Thousands of Christmas Eve Flights

Headline Roundup December 24th, 2021

Over 3,500 flights across the globe that were scheduled for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were abruptly canceled on Friday.

According to flight tracker FlightAware, between 5% and 10% of U.S. airline flights were canceled. Airline representatives attributed the surge of cancellations to the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. A spokesperson for United Airlines said 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." Airlines for America, the group that lobbies on behalf of all major U.S. airlines, is calling on the CDC to relax the quarantine rules for fully vaccinated staff members, and proposed a 5-day isolation period rather than 10 days from the time that symptoms begin. Southwest Airlines, which suffered a "high volume in cancellations" back in October after announcing its decision to mandate vaccinations, said "things are running smoothly." Meanwhile, other airlines such as American Airlines had "nothing to report."

Coverage was fairly consistent across the spectrum. Some outlets quoted conflicting tallies for the total number of flights canceled.

From the Center
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United Airlines and Delta Air Lines (DAL.N)have canceled hundreds of Christmas Eve flights, as the spreading COVID-19 Omicron variant takes a toll on its flight crews and other workers.

Chicago-based United on Thursday canceled 120 flights for Friday, while Atlanta-based Delta said it had canceled about 90. Both said they were working to contact passengers so they would not be stranded at airports.

FlightAware on Friday said United has now canceled 169 flights on Christmas Eve and Delta has canceled 127, along with another 50 canceled flights for United on Christmas...

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From the Right
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Multiple airlines across the United States canceled hundreds of flights on Christmas eve, citing a nationwide surge in Omicron cases which has directly impacted employees and flight crew.

The cancellations come as more than 109 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more via airplanes and other forms of transportation to visit friends and family over the festive period.

That figure is an almost 34 percent increase from 2020, with 27.7 million more people traveling than last year, bringing the number of people traveling during the season to pre-pandemic levels, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

According to Flight Aware,...

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From the Left
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Passengers travelling home for Christmas have been hit with disruption worldwide after airline companies cancelled more than 3,000 flights on Friday, according to a flight tracking website.

The surge of Christmas Eve cancellations came as the rapidly spreading Omicron coronavirus variant meant carriers were unable to staff their flights.

The website of the flight tracking firm FlightAware showed that 2,175 flights around the world had been scrapped on Christmas Eve, a typically heavy day for travel. Around a quarter of those were in the US. Another 1,259 Christmas Day flights...

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