Flight cancellations related to COVID started off on Christmas Eve and the trend continued on December 27, 2021. The airlines across the globe continued to cancel nearly 8000 flights during the three day Christmas weekend, mostly due to shortage of staff due to the omicron variant and bad weather. Flight departure tracker, Flightaware.com mentioned that 1,639 more flights were cancelled on Monday, out of which one third were affected in the United States alone. Flights in China were also affected.
The cancellations caused major disruptions to the return of the Christmas travel in 2021. The situation has led to more anxiety and uncertainty especially after facing the 2020 holiday season during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. Passengers at the Minneapolis –Saint Paul airport in the state of Minnesota expressed about their frustrations. One of the passengers, Tamera Robinson expressed that she had booked the trip in February 2021 and at that time they had no idea that they would still be dealing with COVID.
This year, the American airline industry faced a number of flight delays, cancellations caused due to staff shortages. It was in 2020, when the air travel had faced a major downfall, with complete lockdowns, sealing of the borders due to the coronavirus pandemic. But this year, the airline industry saw a promising year, in terms of travel. It was majorly due to the omicron variant that that travel industry was hit with staff shortage issues. Even the United Airlines explained that the sudden spike in the omicron cases left a direct impact on the flight crews and also people who help to run their operations.
The airline added that they were forced to cancel many of their flights and are informing their customers in advance of their coming to the airport. Some of the other airlines like Lufthansa are also facing acute shortage of staff as more pilots and cabin crew have reported sick with the virus.
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