On one of the busiest travel days of the year, airlines across the country have been forced to cancel more than 1,000 flights because of the Omicron variant. The airlines said they are dealing with staff shortages as a significant number of employees are calling out sick after testing positive for COVID-19.
According to Flight Aware, over 2,300 flights around the world were canceled, including 641 within, into, or out of the United States. In addition, the flight tracking site is reporting over 9,000 delays, including more than 2,500 in the United States.
On Christmas Day, which is one of the lightest travel days of the year, airlines have already announced more than 1,600 cancellations. Airlines do not expect to make any more cancellations and are working to rebook passengers on alternate flights.
“We apologize to our customers for the delay in their holiday travel plans. Delta people are working hard to get them to where they need to be as quickly and as safely as possible on the next available flight,” a spokesperson from Delta Air Lines told Fox Business. “Flight cancellations are due to a combination of issues, including but not limited to, potential inclement weather in some areas and the impact of the Omicron variant.”