Because of the Omicron variant, the planes are grounded
The site Flightaware has declared, there were already at 10:40 a.m. at least 2116 flight cancellations Friday, of which 499 are routes related to the United States, whether international or internal. On Thursday, 2231 flights had been cancelled, according to the same source.
Several airlines interviewed by AFP cited the new wave of the pandemic, which is hitting crews in particular, as one of the main causes of these cancellations.
“The wave of the Omicron variant is at its peak and this wave of contamination has had a direct impact on our crews and the people who manage our operations,” explained the company, which assured to find solutions to make the affected passengers leave.
Delta Air Lines also cancelled 145 flights, citing both Omicron and, occasionally, adverse weather conditions.
“Delta teams exhausted all options and resources” before coming to these cancellations, the airline pleads.
More than 10 Alaska Airlines flights, whose employees reported “potential exposure to the virus” and had to isolate themselves in quarantine, were also cancelled.
The cancellation situation disrupts the desire to resume holiday travel this year after a Christmas 2020 hit hard by the pandemic.
The American Automobile Association estimates that more than 109 million Americans were expected to leave their immediate area by plane, train or car between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2 – a 34 percent increase over last year.
American Airlines had 5,300 flights scheduled for Thursday, the same as the previous two days. “That’s 86 percent of our flight schedule for the same period in 2019,” during the last holiday season before COVID-19 came to a lengthy halt for most travel, the company said.
However, these trips had been planned before the outbreak of the variant Omicron, which is highly contagious, spreads rapidly and forces many people to isolate themselves even in the absence of symptoms.