MISE & Agrave; DAY
More than 4,500 flights were canceled by airlines while thousands more were delayed around the world over Christmas weekend, in the face of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 which disrupts travel during the holidays.
According to the Flightaware website, on Saturday there were at least 2,000 flight cancellations, of which 700 were trips linked to the United States, whether international or internal, and more than 1,500 delays.
On Friday, around 2,400 cancellations and nearly 11,000 delays were recorded according to the same source, which already has more than 600 cancellations planned for Sunday.
Pilots, flight attendants and other staff members had to be quarantined after being exposed to COVID, which forced Lufthansa, Delta and United Airlines to cancel flights.
According to Flightaware, United Airlines had to cancel around 200 flights on Friday and Saturday, or 10% of those that were scheduled.
“The spike in Omicron cases across the country this week has had an impact direct on our crews and the people who manage our operations ”, explained the American company, which ensured to endeavor to find solutions for the affected passengers.
Delta Air Lines also canceled 260 flights on Saturday, and 170 the day before, again according to Flightaware, citing both Omicron and, occasionally, adverse weather conditions. “The Delta teams have exhausted all options and resources” before coming to these cancellations, argues the airline.
More than ten flights of Alaska Airlines, which employees said “have potentially exposed to the virus ”and had to isolate themselves in quarantine, were also canceled.
Chinese airlines were responsible for the most cancellations: China Eastern cut around 480 flights, or more than 20% of its flight plan, while Air China canceled 15% of its scheduled departures.
These cancellations disrupt the desire to resume travel this year for the holidays, after a Christmas 2020 hit hard by the pandemic.
According to estimates by the American Automobile Association, more than 109 million Americans were scheduled to leave their immediate areas by plane, train or car between December 23 and January 2 – up 34% from last year.
Fortunately, these disruptions did not have any consequences for Santa's tour, which the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has scrupulously followed for 63 years.
< p> “It's going very well for the moment, Santa Claus has distributed two billion gifts and he is currently nt over Pakistan, ”Major General Eric Kenny, who commands NORAD for the Canadian region, told AFP on Friday.