More than 7000 flights worldwide canceled or canceled over Christmas
Over 7,000 flights worldwide were canceled or canceled over Christmas. As data from the Flightaware.com website showed, More than 2000 flights were canceled worldwide on Sunday alone, more than 570 of them with destination or departure in the USA. There were also more than 4,000 delays. According to the airlines, the many flight cancellations are due to the fact that many employees are infected with the corona virus or are in quarantine. In the USA, severe weather warnings also thwarted travelers’ plans.
According to the website, there were around 2,400 cancellations and 11,000 delays on Friday. On Saturday, over 2,800 flights were canceled and more than 8500 delays were recorded. The failures affected, among others, the airlines Lufthansa, Delta, United Airlines, JetBlue and Alaska Airlines.
Most of the cancellations were made by Chinese airlines: China Eastern canceled 1,000 flights on Friday and Saturday, which was more than a fifth of the flight schedule. Air China also put around 20 percent of its scheduled departures on hold during this period.
The US airlines also had to cancel many flights. According to Flightaware, United Airlines alone had to cancel around 450 flights on Friday and Saturday – around ten percent of all scheduled flights. “The nationwide surge in Omikron cases this week had a direct impact on our crews and the people who keep our operations going,” the airline said.
The US airline Delta had to cancel at least 300 flights on Saturday and around 100 flights on Sunday – after around 170 failures on Friday. The airline saw no more possibility of being able to offer the flights after all – “including the diversion and the exchange of aircraft and crews,” said Delta.
Christmas time is one of the main travel times of the year: According to an estimate by the American Automobile Association, more than 109 million people planned to travel between December 23 and January 2 in the United States alone.
This is 34 percent more than in the previous year, when the pandemic forced numerous people to celebrate Christmas in small groups. Most of the trips for this year’s Christmas season had already been booked before the appearance of the Omikron variant, explained the traffic club.
Some travelers expressed their displeasure about the failures in the online networks: “Help, United flight canceled again. I want to get home in time for Christmas,” wrote a desperate traveler from the US state of Vermont on Saturday morning (local time) on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the US National Weather Service reported several storms that further exacerbated the travel chaos: While temperatures in the eastern US states were unusually high, meteorologists issued storm warnings for large parts of the west. The experts warned that heavy snowfall was to be expected in the mountains. (AFP)