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Over 4,000 flights cancelled worldwide, more than half in United States amid rise in COVID cases

The Christmas and New Year's holidays are traditionally busiest for air travel. Still, the quick spread of the highly transmissible Omicron form has resulted in a dramatic surge in COVID-19 infections, prompting airlines to postpone flights while pilots and cabin personnel quarantine.

Over 4000 flights cancelled worldwide more than half in United States amid rise in COVID cases gcw
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Washington D.C., First Published Jan 3, 2022, 10:09 AM IST
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Almost 4,000 flights were cancelled worldwide, with more than half of them in the United States, adding to the toll of holiday week travel difficulties caused by bad weather and an increase in coronavirus infections caused by the Omicron variant. According to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.com, the flights cancelled by 8 p.m. GMT on Sunday comprised over 2,400 inbounds, departing from, or inside the United States. Over 11,200 flights were delayed worldwide. According to FlightAware, SkyWest and SouthWest had the most cancellations, with 510 and 419 cancellations, respectively.

The Christmas and New Year's holidays are traditionally busiest for air travel. Still, the quick spread of the highly transmissible Omicron form has resulted in a dramatic surge in COVID-19 infections, prompting airlines to postpone flights while pilots and cabin personnel quarantine. Because of coronavirus-related personnel shortages, transportation agencies across the United States were also stopping or limiting services. Omicron has resulted in record case counts and dampened New Year's Eve celebrations worldwide. Because of the spike of COVID instances in the United States, some organisations have changed their plans to expand the number of employees working from their offices beginning Monday.

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Despite large financial incentives, US airline cabin crew, pilots, and support workers were hesitant to work overtime during the holidays. According to certain airline unions, many people were concerned about acquiring COVID-19 and were not looking forward to dealing with rowdy passengers. Airlines were recruiting employees in the months leading up to the holidays to ensure adequate staffing after furloughing or laying off thousands in the previous 18 months as the epidemic crippled the sector.

Also Read | Lufthansa, United, Delta cancel flights over Christmas as Omicron variant takes a toll on crew numbers

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