Over 6,300 flights cancelled worldwide over Christmas weekend


Some 6,300 flights were cancelled by airlines across the world over Christmas weekend, with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 disrupting travel during the holidays, including pilots in quarantine.

According to the latest report from the Flightaware website, there were nearly 2,800 flight cancellations on Saturday, 970 of which were related to the United States, whether for international or internal routes. As of Friday, around 2,400 cancellations had been identified according to the same source, which already has more than 1,100 cancellations planned for Sunday.

Pilots, flight attendants and other staff have had to be quarantined after being exposed to Covid, forcing Lufthansa, Delta and United Airlines to cancel flights.

According to Flightaware, United Airlines had to cancel around 439 flights on Friday and Saturday, or about 10% of those that were scheduled. “The peak of Omicron cases across the country this week has had a direct impact on our crews and the people who manage our operations,” said the American company, which said it was working to find solutions for passengers. affected.

Delta Air Lines also cancelled more than 300 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 it comes to these cancellations, the airline argued. More than ten Alaska Airlines flights, whose employees said they were “potentially exposed to the virus” and had to self-isolate in quarantine, have also been cancelled.

Chinese airlines were responsible for the most cancellations: China Eastern cut around 540 flights, more than a quarter of its flight plan, while Air China cancelled 267 flights, also near a quarter of its scheduled departures. Many cancelled flights were connecting Xi’an, whose 13 million inhabitants are in a strict lockdown.

At least 128 domestic flights were cancelled in Japan on Sunday due to heavy snowfall in the north and west of the country, the country’s two largest airlines said. ANA All Nippon Airways cancelled 79 flights and Japan Airlines had to cancel 49 flights.


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