Almost 2,000 flights canceled on Sunday in the US

Planes line up on a runway

Nearly 2,000 flights were already canceled in the U.S. as of Sunday morning as airlines grapple with a spike in COVID-19 cases and inclement weather.

A total of 1,956 flights within, into or out of the U.S. were canceled as of 8:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, according to FlightAware. Another 870 flights within, into or out of the U.S. had been delayed.

Southwest recorded 264 cancellations on Sunday, JetBlue reported 169 canceled flights and Delta followed with 161 cancellations. American Airlines canceled 136 flights on Sunday, and United called off 94 trips.

The U.S. in recent days has seen a large number of flight cancellations, driven largely by the nationwide spike in COVID-19 cases. Airlines told The Hill last month that coronavirus infections were leading to staffing shortages, which forced some flight cancellations.

In the past 10 days, including Sunday and Christmas Eve, airlines have canceled more than 14,000 flights in the U.S., according to a CNN tally of FlightAware statistics.

Inclement weather conditions are also contributing to the increased number of flight cancellations, according to CNN.

Allegiant spokeswoman Hilarie Grey told the network that “severe weather” was responsible for some of the canceled flights.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) warned on Thursday that more travel delays are likely in the coming days because of COVID-19 infections among FAA employees and “weather and heavy seasonal traffic.”

Despite the large number of cancellations and delays, however, people are still traveling in the U.S. this holiday season. The Transportation Security Administration said it screened more than 1.6 million travelers on Saturday.

The CEO of Delta last month asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to shorten quarantine guidelines for COVID-19 breakthrough cases. Last week, the health agency recommended that individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic should isolate for five days instead of 10.


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