United Airlines cancels more than 100 flights on Christmas Eve due to COVID.
United Airlines canceled dozens of flights scheduled for Christmas Eve due to COVID-19 cases affecting staff.
The company shared a statement with Nexstar saying: “The nationwide increase in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation. As a result, we have unfortunately had to cancel some flights and we are notifying affected customers before they arrive at the airport. We apologize for the interruption and are working hard to rebook as many people as possible and get them on track for the holidays. ”
A United spokesperson says about 120 flights were canceled by Christmas Eve.
According to Reported flight, a flight-tracking service, United has canceled 121 flights as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday. While United has yet to confirm whether the impact of COVID on staffing will affect flights over Christmas, FlightAware shows that around two dozen of the airline’s flights were canceled for Saturday.
FlightAware also reports that Delta Air Lines has canceled approximately 80 flights scheduled for Christmas Eve. A comment from Delta on why these flights were canceled was not immediately available.
Omicron recently became the dominant COVID variant In the U.S. As of Thursday, the U.S. has passed its summer peak of COVID infections with a seven-day average of more than 168,000 cases, according to data from The New York Times.
Last week, the president of the nation’s largest flight attendants union and executives from United Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Delta Air Lines testified during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on oversight of airlines.
During the hearing, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly told the Senate panel that the air in passenger jet cabins is so clean that the face masks “don’t add much” additional protection against the spread of COVID- 19 on airplanes. Kelly tested positive for COVID-19 days after the hearing.