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Widespread flight cancellations proceed as omicron spreads

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled Wednesday because the omicron variant creates havoc each for vacationers and for airways which can be having to cobble collectively flight crews as pilots, flight attendants and floor crews grow to be contaminated or are uncovered to others who’ve been.

More than 850 flights have been cancelled by noon Wednesday and that quantity has ticked larger all through the day, in accordance with knowledge from the flight-tracking web site FlightConscious. There have been almost 1,300 cancellations for flights getting into, leaving or contained in the U.S. Tuesday, and about 1,500 on Monday.

Cancellations started to spike the day earlier than Christmas throughout what’s already a buzzing tempo for airways this time of 12 months.

Delta, United and JetBlue have all mentioned that the omicron variant was inflicting sufficient staffing points that flights have been cancelled.

SkyWest led U.S. carriers with 195 cancellations, adopted by United with 158 and Delta with 103. SkyWest, a regional airline primarily based in Utah, has suffered an elevated stage of cancellations after extreme climate hit a number of of its hubs, but it surely’s reporting the identical staffing points because of COVID-19.

The Pacific Northwest was slammed with chilly and heavy snow over the weekend. Among U.S. airports, Seattle-Tacoma had the best proportion of incoming and outgoing flights cancelled Wednesday, in accordance with FlightConscious.

Omicron has intensified already vital staffing points for airways, which winnowed workforces in 2020 as air journey collapsed, solely to be broadsided when vaccination charges jumped and thousands and thousands of individuals felt snug flying once more this 12 months.

That might translate to journey complications for lots of of hundreds of individuals if cancellations keep the present tempo into the weekend. The Transportation Security Administration expects the Monday after New Year’s might be one of many busiest days of the vacation season.

According to TSA checkpoint knowledge, the numbers of individuals flying this vacation season far exceeds final 12 months—earlier than COVID-19 vaccinations have been obtainable—however nonetheless trails 2019 traveler numbers.

Flight cancellations drag on as airlines short-staffed

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