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More than 2,000 flights canceled in the world due to the expansion of omicron

More than 2,000 flights canceled in the world due to the expansion of omicron

Airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights around the world, a quarter of them linked to the United States, due to the expansion of the omicron variant of covid-19.

According to the website Flightaware, at 18:50 GMT on Friday there had been at least 2,272 flight cancellations, of which 585 are trips linked to the United States, whether international or internal.

As of Thursday, cancellations had totaled 2,231, according to the same source.

Many companies consulted by the AFP mentioned the new wave of the pandemic, which particularly affects crews, as the cause of the cancellations.

According to Flightaware, United Airlines had to cancel more than 180 flights on Friday, 8% of those scheduled.

"The peak in omicron cases across the country this week has had a direct impact on our crews and the people who run our operations."said the company, which claimed to be working to find solutions for affected passengers.

Delta Air Lines also canceled 163 flights, according to Flightaware, both because of omicron and, to a lesser extent, due to adverse weather conditions. "Delta teams have exhausted all options and resources" before deciding on these cancellations, the airline argued.

More than ten Alaska Airlines flights were also canceled, some of whose employees said they were "potentially exposed to the virus" and they had to isolate themselves.

These cancellations disrupt plans to return to travel on vacation this year, after Christmas 2020 hit hard by the pandemic.

According to estimates by the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than 109 million Americans were expected to leave their immediate area by plane, train or car between December 23 and January 2, an increase of 34% over the previous year. last year.

American Airlines had planned 5,300 flights on Thursday, as many as the previous two days.

"This represents 86% of our flight program for the same period of 2019", the last season of Christmas "normal", before the covid-19 broke in.

Most of the flights had been scheduled before the omicron outbreak, which is spreading at high speed and is more contagious than previous variants.

These disturbances, however, did not have strong consequences for the Santa Claus flight, which the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has followed for 63 years.

"It is going very well for now, Santa Claus distributed two billion gifts and is now over Pakistan"Major General Eric Kenny, NORAD commander for the Canadian region, told AFP.

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