Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

Thousands More Flights Canceled as COVID-19 Continues to Disrupt Holiday Travel

Around 3,259 flights were canceled in total globally yesterday, of which around 1,474 were in the United States, according to the flight-tracking website, FlightAware.

By
This story originally appeared on The Epoch Times

Thousands more flights were canceled across the United States on Monday amid the ongoing CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus nationwide surge in Omicron variant cases.

Around 3,259 flights were canceled in total globally yesterday, of which around 1,474 were in the United States, according to the flight-tracking website, FlightAware.

Of the 1,474 flights, 136 were pulled by Delta airlines, 108 were scrapped from United, 172 from Alaska airlines, and 93 were pulled from American airlines. Globally, 16,026 were delayed.

Thousands of flights, both national and international, have been canceled during the peak holiday season amid a surge in COVID-19 cases which airlines say have affected employees and flight crew, leading to staffing issues.

A spokesperson from United Airlines told ABC News last week that the company had been forced to cancel some flights after employees had called in sick with the virus, and said that they had notified customers in advance of them arriving at the airport.

“We’re sorry for the disruption and are working hard to rebook as many people as possible and get them on their way for the holidays,” the spokesperson said.

Delta Air Lines said in a statement that the “flight cancellations are due to a combination of issues, including but not limited to, potential inclement weather in some areas and the impact of the Omicron variant.”

Alaska Airlines attributed its cancellations and delays to snow and freezing weather conditions that are disrupting operations at its largest hub, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

“On Monday, we had to, unfortunately, cancel 214 mainline and regional flights. With forecasts calling for bitter cold temperatures throughout the week and snow on Thursday more flights could be canceled throughout the next several days,” the airline said in a statement.

“We’re deeply sorry to our guests for the delay in their holiday travel plans and are working hard to reposition aircraft and crews back to the West Coast to get everyone where they need to be as quickly and safely as possible,” said Constance von Muehlen, chief operating officer and executive vice president.

Last week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said the Omicron variant accounted for more than 90 percent of COVID-19 cases in the South, Midwest, eastern Atlantic, and northern Pacific regions of the United States.

But on Monday, the CDC cut the number of days of isolation for Americans who contract COVID-19 from 10 days to five days, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others, regardless of their vaccination status, reversing its previous recommendation. The agency also shortened the time that close contacts of COVID-19 need to quarantine to five days.

The agency said the decision to cut the isolation time is “motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.”

However, Walensky told The Associated Press on Monday that the United States will experience significantly more Omicron cases.

“Not all of those cases are going to be severe. In fact many are going to be asymptomatic,” she said. “We want to make sure there is a mechanism by which we can safely continue to keep society functioning while following the science.”

So far, one death associated with Omicron has been reported in the United States. Officials in Texas said a Harris County man in his 50s with underlying health conditions apparently died from the variant last week. 

By Katabella Roberts

 

Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.

The Epoch Times

Written By

The Epoch Times is the fastest-growing independent news media in America. We are nonpartisan and dedicated to truthful reporting.

We are free from the influence of any government, corporation, or political party—this is what makes us different from other media organizations. Our goal is to bring our readers accurate information so they can form their own opinions about the most significant topics of our time.

We don’t follow the unhealthy trend of agenda-driven journalism prevalent in today’s media environment. Instead, we use our principles of Truth and Tradition as our guiding light. We highlight in our reporting the best of humanity, the valuable lessons of history, and traditions that are beneficial for society.

The Epoch Times was founded in the United States in the year 2000 in response to communist repression and censorship in China. Our founders, Chinese-Americans who themselves had fled communism, sought to create an independent media to bring the world uncensored and truthful information.

The Epoch Times has received numerous awards for our reporting and design, including from the New York Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Society for News Design.

The Epoch Times’ media network currently covers 21 languages and 33 countries.