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Omicron dampens Christmas joy as thousands of flights cancelled worldwide

According to a HT report, commercial airline carriers cancelled over 4,500 flights across the globe over the Christmas weekend, as surging cases of coronavirus owing to the spread of the Omicron variant put a damper on festivities and travel plans.

According to data from flight-tracking platform FlightAware.com, at least 2,401 flights were called off on Christmas Eve, which fell on December 24 and is usually a busy day for air travel.

An initial 1,900 flights were scrubbed on Christmas Day globally, with more than 500 cancellations also scheduled for Sunday.

US flights impacted the most

Flights within, into and out of the United States constituted more than a quarter of all the cancelled flights over the holiday weekend, figures from FlightAware showed.

United Airlines and Delta Airlines scrapped over 300 flights combined on Friday, citing a staff crunch due to rising Covid-19 infections. “The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation,” United said in a statement.

“As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport,” the airline added.

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