Hundreds of thousands of people have not been able to return home for Christmas

More than 6,000 flights have been canceled worldwide during the long Christmas weekend and thousands more have been delayed for the Omicron variant of Covid. To aggravate the chaos of travel to the United States, bad weather in the west of the country.

According to the monitoring website Flightaware.com, nearly 2,800 flights worldwide were canceled on Saturday, including more than 970 to or from US airports, with more than 8,000 delays. There were around 2,400 cancellations and 11,000 delays on Friday, while Sunday cancellations exceeded 1,100.

Pilots, flight attendants and other employees are on sick leave or in quarantine after exposure to Covid, forcing Lufthansa, Delta, United Airlines, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines and many other understaffed carriers to cancel flights during one of the peak periods of the year.

Flightaware data showed United canceled around 200 flights on Friday and nearly 250 on Saturday, about 10% of those scheduled. The rush to redirect pilots and planes and reassign employees is useless: the Omicron wave has upset the situation.

“The national peak of Omicron cases this week had a direct impact on our flight crews and about the people running our operations, “United said in a statement Friday.” As a result, we have sadly had to cancel some flights and are alerting affected customers prior to their arrival at the airport, “the airline said.

Likewise, Delta canceled 310 flights on Saturday and several dozen others on Sunday, claiming it “exhausted all options and resources, including redirect and aircraft and crew replacements to cover scheduled flights“.” We apologize to our customers for the delay in their vacation travel plans, “the company said.

The cancellations added to the frustration of the pandemic for many people eager to be reunited with their families during the holidays, after last year’s Christmas was severely penalized.

Chinese airlines recorded the highest number of cancellations, with China Eastern canceling more than 1,000 flights, more than 20% of its flight schedule, and Air China also blocking about 20% of scheduled departures.

By Editor

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