Nearly 1,300 flights cancelled amid Omicron variant surge in US, causing havoc for travellers and airlines

FILE PHOTO: A British Airways plane taxis past tail fins of parked aircraft near Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain, March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

Hundreds of flights were cancelled yesterday as the Omicron variant of COVID created havoc both for travellers and for airlines in the United States.

According to data from the flight-tracking website, more than 850 flights were cancelled by midday yesterday and the number ticked higher throughout the day. There were nearly 1,300 cancellations for flights entering, leaving or inside the United States on Tuesday, and about 1,500 on Monday.

Delta, United and JetBlue have said that the Omicron variant was causing significant staffing issues for airlines due to which flights were cancelled.

SkyWest, a regional airline based in Utah, has suffered 195 cancellations after severe weather hit several of its hubs.

A slew of issues including Omicron infections and bad weather could translate to travel headaches for hundreds of thousands of people if cancellations maintain the current pace heading into the New Year’s holiday weekend.

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