Over 8,000 inbound, outbound and domestic U.S. flights have been canceled or delayed in the last few days due to unfavorable weather conditions or issues related to the Omicron variant in the States.
According to data from the flight-tracking service FlightAware, almost 2,600 flights were canceled on the U.S. East Coast just on Sunday.
SkyWest (SKYW.O) and SouthWest (LUV.N) were the airlines with the highest cancellations, with 510 and 419 cancellations, respectively.
Chicago was reportedly the worst city in the country for travelers due to weather conditions, with 800 flights canceled at O’Hare Airport and more than 250 at Midway Airport.
It hasn’t helped matters that transportation agencies have been reducing services owing to COVID-19-related employee shortages.
The difficulties on Saturday, however, were not only due to the increase in cases.
Despite generous financial offers, airline cabin crew, pilots and support members across the States were hesitant to work overtime during the holidays.
Some airline unions expressed concerns regarding multiple employees contracting COVID-19 and also the potential of having to deal with disruptive passengers during the busiest days.
The reality is that the COVID-19 situation in the United States is deteriorating rapidly.
According to Johns Hopkins University data, the country recorded more than 2.7 million cases last week, up 105 percent from the previous week.
On Thursday, the U.S. reach a new high of 585.014 new cases. The country has reported more infections in the last six days than it did in the entire month of November.
At least 286, 621 new coronavirus infections were reported in the country on Sunday. Up to date, some 847,408 residents have lost their lives to the virus.
This has compelled a large number of companies to ask staff to work from home, which has also resulted in an increase in flight cancellations.