Aviation

1,400 US flights canceled Friday as omicron continues to slow travel

AP.

More than 1,400 flights going into, out of and within the U.S. were canceled on Friday as the year comes to a close with snarled travel due to the impact of COVID-19 and the omicron variant on airlines and their crews.

According to FlightAware’s live delay and cancellation statistic, 1,417 flights in the U.S. were canceled on New Year’s Eve. The U.S. airlines reporting the highest volume of canceled flights are SkyWest, United, JetBlue, Delta, Allegiant Air and Southwest.

On top of these cancellations, nearly 2,000 additional flights in the U.S. have been delayed. Globally, more than 6,500 flights have been delayed and nearly 3,000 have been canceled.

FlightAware’s “MiseryMap” currently lists the Denver International Airport as being the most “miserable” in the U.S., with the Seattle-Tacoma, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta and Los Angeles international airports following behind.

Over the holiday weekend, more than 7,000 flights were canceled in the U.S., leaving thousands of travelers stranded as they attempted to return home. Most airlines are attributing this rash of cancellations to the spike in COVID-19 cases among their workforce as well as winter weather stopping planes from departing.

“The nationwide spike in omicron cases has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation. As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport,” United said in a statement earlier this week.

Earlier this month, airline leaders called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to shorten the length of quarantine for breakthrough infections. Soon after, the CDC announced that it was shortening its recommended quarantine period to five days regardless of vaccination status.

The agency recommended that people continue to wear a mask for an additional five days after leaving isolation, but did not say that a test negative COVID-19 test should be gotten as well.

This decision has drawn criticism from health experts who argue that this may lead to people leaving isolation while still being capable of spreading infections.

Tags Airlines COVID-19 Flight Cancellations Flight delays omicron travel

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