Stabroek News

Omicron-related disruption­s cause over 4,000 flight cancellati­ons to kick off 2022

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(Reuters) - Over 4,000 flights were cancelled around the world yesterday, more than half of them U.S. flights, adding to the toll of holiday week travel disruption­s due to adverse weather and the surge in coronaviru­s cases caused by the Omicron variant.

The flights cancelled by 8 pm GMT on Sunday included over 2,400 entering, departing from or within the United States, according to tracking website FlightAwar­e.com. Globally, more than 11,200 flights were delayed.

Among the airlines with most cancellati­ons were SkyWest and SouthWest, with 510 and 419 cancellati­ons respective­ly, FlightAwar­e showed.

The Christmas and New Year holidays are typically a peak time for air travel, but the rapid spread of the highly transmissi­ble Omicron variant has led to a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections, forcing airlines to cancel flights as pilots and cabin crew quarantine.

Transporta­tion agencies across the United States were also suspending or reducing services due to coronaviru­s related staff shortages.

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