US airlines cancel nearly 1,000 Christmas flights due to Omicron

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. airlines canceled nearly 1,000 flights on Saturday, the second day in a row of massive cancellations, after a surge in infections with the mutated Omicron strain of the coronavirus left some pilots and other crew behind and upset the plans of tens of thousands of travelers. For the weekend at Christmas.

According to the flight tracking website, 957 domestic and international flights were canceled on Christmas Day, up from 690 on Christmas Eve. About 2,000 other flights were delayed.

And at least one airline said it expects more cancellations on Sunday.

A United Airlines spokesperson said the airline has canceled 230 flights.

The site data showed that Delta Air Lines canceled 292 flights as of 1623 GMT, while a spokesman for American Airlines said it had to cancel 90 domestic flights.

Globally, more than 2,500 flights were canceled in total today, Saturday, and about 4,200 more flights were delayed.

The Christmas holiday is usually a prime time for air travel, but the rapid spread of the Omicron strain has led to a sharp increase in Covid-19 infections, forcing airlines to cancel flights due to the need for pilots and flight crews to enter quarantine.

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