Airlines canceled more than 2,600 U.S. flights on New Year’s Day as they faced severe weather across the country and a surge in omicron infections among staff that has disrupted air travel throughout the year-end holidays.
It’s an ongoing issue for travel that won’t be resolved anytime soon. In fact, the airlines had already canceled more than 1,000 U.S. flights scheduled for Sunday, January 2nd.. Since Christmas Eve, more than 13,700 U.S. flights have been scrapped and thousands more were delayed, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware.
“Weather and heavy seasonal traffic are likely to result in some travel delays in the coming days,” the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement Friday. “Like the rest of the U.S. population, an increased number of FAA employees have tested positive for COVID-19. To maintain safety, traffic volume at some facilities could be reduced, which might result in delays during busy periods.”
While weather drove many of the cancellations on New Year’s Day, carriers including United Airlines, Delta Air Linesand JetBlue Airways have canceled hundreds of flights over the holidays, citing omicron infections among crews for many of the disruptions.
Reports of COVID-19 infections have been rising in recent days as the U.S. grapples with the arrival of the omicron variant. Much remains unknown about the viral strain, which was first detected in the country on Dec. 1. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the variant, which has since become the dominant strain across the U.S., has been reported in 110 countries.
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