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Latest Surge in COVID-19 Cases Leads to Additional Flight Cancellations


Latest Surge in COVID-19 Cases Leads to Additional Flight Cancellations

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The festive season typically witnesses a surge in travel activities, as individuals journey across regions and borders to celebrate with loved ones or for business purposes. However, similar to the challenges faced in 2020, the holiday season of 2021 is encountering disruptions in travel plans due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases leading to flight cancellations.

As reported by the flight tracking platform FlightAware, nearly 2,200 flights in the United States were canceled primarily due to airline staff shortages and crew members falling ill, along with local regulations hampering flight operations. Moreover, approximately 3,000 flights experienced delays due to similar issues. Globally, around 6,000 flights were canceled on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, while over 5,000 flights faced delays on Sunday.

Amidst desires to reunite with family members and break away from the monotony of pandemic-related restrictions, millions of travelers underwent TSA screenings. On the Wednesday preceding Christmas, over 2 million individuals passed through TSA checkpoints, marking a significant rise compared to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

United Airlines acknowledged the impact of the surge in Omicron cases on their flight operations, stating in an internal memorandum, “The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation.”

The ongoing wave of cancellations has left numerous travelers stranded at their destinations post-holiday, with arranging return flights posing a challenge.

Expressing regret for the disruptions in holiday travel plans, Delta Airlines assured, “Delta employees are dedicated to swiftly and safely transporting customers to their desired destinations on the next available flight.”

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