‘Christmas Frightmare’ Continues: Thousands Of Flight Cancellations Driven By Omicron And Bad Weather
Cancelled flights on airport board panel
Getty Images

Travel-related chaos experienced over Christmas has continued into this week, with more flights being cancelled across the world as numerous airlines grapple with crew members coming down with COVID-19, or isolating due to exposure.

According to the latest data from FlightAware, well over 2,000 flights were cancelled on Monday, with more than 700 of those within, into, or out of the United States. In total, this means that more than 8,000 flights have been cancelled since the long Christmas weekend started.

The majority of grounded flights on Monday were operated by Chinese airlines, including 421 flights with China Eastern (amounting to 20% of their total flights), and 196 with Air China (amounting to 17% of their total flights). Fifteen percent of flights from Beijing Capital International Airport were cancelled on Monday, as well as 15% of flights into Beijing.

U.S.-based airlines have also been hit with cancellations. Alaska Airlines had 88 cancellations on Monday, while United Airlines had 87, American Airlines had 77, JetBlue had 66, and Delta Airlines had 60. These flights amount to a much smaller percentage of total flights than China Eastern or Air China.

These problems are only adding to the “Christmas Flightmare” experienced over the weekend, with nearly 1,000 flights either entering or leaving the United States canceled on Christmas Day alone, while thousands of additional flights were delayed.

“Winter weather in portions of the U.S. and the omicron variant continued to impact Delta’s holiday weekend flight schedule. Of the 4,155 total mainline and connection flights scheduled Sunday, the airline had canceled 161, with around 40 more cancellations forecasted for the day, fewer cancellations than predicted less than a day ago,” a Delta Air Lines spokesperson told FOX Business.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines told the outlet that the airline is dealing with “a variety of weather and air traffic congestion challenges,” but added that no COVID-related disruptions had occurred.

Alaska Airlines also blamed the “Christmas Flightmare” on bad weather in the Pacific North West.

“Snow and wintry conditions are creating a bit of a bah-humbug for our operations to and from Seattle. To adjust for the difficult weather conditions and impacts at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, we’ve had to cancel some of our flights that were scheduled to arrive or depart Seattle today, December 26. We apologize for any potential flight delays and cancellations that could take place due to the weather.  We realize it’s incredibly frustrating when travel doesn’t go as planned,” an Alaska Airlines spokesperson said.

A spokesperson from JetBlue, however, acknowledged that they were receiving an “increasing number of sick calls from Omicron.” 

“Despite our best efforts, we’ve had to cancel a number of flights, and additional flight cancellations and other delays remain a possibility as we see more Omicron community spread. The health and safety of our crewmembers and customers remains our top priority as we work through this pandemic, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that these schedule changes bring during the holidays,” the spokesperson explained.

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Christmas Frightmare’ Continues: Thousands Of Flight Cancellations Driven By Omicron And Bad Weather