Thousands of flights are cancelled worldwide as Omicron dampens the festive spirit
Commercial airlines had to cancel more than 4,500 flights during the holiday weekend because the rising number of coronavirus cases due to the spreading in the Omicron variant caused a halt to the festivities along with travel plans.
According to the flight-tracking platform FlightAware.com there were at most 2401 flights were cancelled at midnight on the day of Christmas, which falls on a Friday, which is typically an extremely busy day for flights.
Initial 1,900 flights were cancelled during Christmas Day globally, with more than 500 cancellations scheduled for the following Sunday.
US flights have the greatest impact on
flights within, into as well out of United States constituted more than one-quarter of all cancelled flights on the weekend of the holiday, data from FlightAware revealed.
United Airlines and Delta Airlines cancelled more than 300 flights on Friday due to a staff shortage because of the rising number of Covid-19 infections.
“The widespread increase in Omicron instances this week had an immediate impact upon our crew members as well as those who manage our operations,” United announced in an announcement.
“As the result, we’ve been forced to cancel a few flights and have notified affected customers ahead of arriving at the airport,” the airline explained.
Airline staff falling ill
Within the United Kingdom, several industries and travel agencies were experiencing shortages of staff when sick employees were forced to self-isolate.
German airline Lufthansa has announced that it would cancel many long-haul transatlantic flights that were scheduled for the holiday break due to an “massive increase” in sick time among pilots.
Lufthansa claimed it could not determine if Covid-19-related infections or quarantines caused the leaf rot because they were not informed of the nature of the illness.
While in Australia the airline Jetstar announced that many of its employees needed to undergo tests and be removed from the workplace due to rising illnesses, which led to delays and cancellations in the last minute.
The celebrations are slowed down
The Christmas celebrations were marred by the Covid-19 disaster for the second year running when churches all the way from Bethlehem as well as Frankfurt from London and Boston were forced to cancel or reduce services.
In Germany churches, attendees were subjected to strict restrictions on Covid-19 and limitations on attendance. Some required the proof of vaccination or test results.
The cathedral in Frankfurt, which has the capacity of seating 1,200 people, has the 137 spaces that are socially separated that were all reserved prior to the event, and singing was restricted to masks.
Within the Belgian city Antwerp the Antwerp city, people put Christmas trees upside down on windows to protest against the closing of the city’s cultural institutions.
While in Bethlehem the city that hosted many thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world prior to the outbreak it was festive than last year’s.
A crowd of hundreds of people gathered in Manger Square. Manger Square as bagpipe-and-drum bands took to the streets.