US airlines cancel more than 700 flights day after Christmas as Covid continues to cause holiday travel chaos

·2-min read
US airlines cancel more than 700 flights day after Christmas as Covid continues to cause holiday travel chaos

A day after Christmas, airlines in the US have cancelled more than 700 flights as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 continued to create chaos for hundreds of thousands of passengers.

Airlines cancelled flights for the third day in a row this holiday season, leaving passengers stranded and away from their families.

According to FlightAware, a flight tracking and data platform, more than 1,200 flights were cancelled and more than 5,000 were delayed on Sunday, a day after Christmas. Delta and JetBlue each had more than 100 flight cancellations.

On Sunday, across the world, there were more than 2,000 cancellations.

Globally, airlines have cancelled more than 6000 flights in the last three days this holiday season, according to FlightAware. This includes 1,700 flights within, into or out of the United States.

“The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation,” United Airlines said in a statement. “As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport.”

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, about 70,000 Americans were hospitalised with Covid-19 on Christmas Eve. Reports said that it was a 2 per cent increase from the previous week, and was up about 50 per cent from early November.

On Christmas, according to The New York Times’ coronavirus tracker, roughly 201,000 daily cases were reported in the US.

William Schaffner, a professor at the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, said “there are many places in the country where hospitalisations now are increasing”, according to CNN.

The number of people who have not yet been vaccinated against the coronavirus are also a source of worry, experts have said.

“Swift and safe adjustments by the CDC would alleviate at least some of the staffing pressures and set up airlines to help millions of travellers returning from their holidays,” Derek Dombrowski, a JetBlue spokesperson said.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting