January 24, 2022

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Omigron | Corona virus | Christmas: Cancellation of more than 5,000 flights worldwide adds frustration to Govt-19 epidemic | USA | The world

Variation It hit employees of major airlines and canceled nearly 5,000 flights worldwide on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

At 11:00 (16:00 GMT) local time on the east coast of the United States, 4,900 flights were already grounded on Christmas Eve and Christmas, while 15,837 flights were delayed by the last minute, according to US company Flight Aware. Specializes in providing real-time data on aviation.

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More than a quarter of flights canceled during Christmas Eve and Christmas were targeted or starting point in the United States, where cases have increased by 50% in the past week after Omigran’s tremendous improvement.

Christmas Eve, one of the busiest days of the year, has already begun with the suspension of hundreds of travel plans; But as the day progressed the situation worsened and at Christmas, major US airlines such as Delta and United announced more cancellations.

In a statement, Delta said it had “exhausted all options and all resources” including route changes, aircraft changes and personnel changes to cover up its planned operations.

However, on Christmas Eve, Delta suspended 173 or 8% of its routes, and by 11 a.m. local time on Christmas Day, 290 flights (14%) had already landed passengers.

For its part, United canceled the 201 (10%) routes planned for Christmas Eve, and this Christmas Saturday the figure has already reached 238 (12%).

See: More than 200 flights have been canceled in the United States on Christmas Eve

Impact of Omigran on groups

A United Kingdom spokeswoman, Maddie King, told Efe this Saturday that the rise of Omigron infections in the United States was having a “direct impact” on airline crews and other employees of the company, who should stay home. No disease and no infection to others.

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Delta, for its part, blamed the cancellation of Omigran, but the blizzards threatening West America were due to weather conditions from the state of Washington to southern California.

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However, other airlines such as the US and Southwest have assured that their operations are growing normally and have not experienced cancellations.

However, both airlines had to cancel hundreds of flights by the end of October.

For its part, German Lufthansa announced yesterday that it had canceled several Atlantic routes during the Christmas holidays, due to a “massive increase” in disease among its pilots, local media reports.

Other international airlines, China Eastern and Air China, as well as Indonesia’s low-cost Lion Air and state-owned Air India, have dropped thousands of passengers on Christmas Eve and Christmas, according to Flight Aware.

A pulse between American officials and the unions

In the United States, after the cancellation, there is a fight between the managers of the major airlines and the unions.

Airlines for America, a lobbying group representing Delta, United and the United States, sent a letter on Thursday to Rochelle Valensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asking her to relax the company’s guidelines. During the isolation period the virus victims must strictly adhere to.

Currently, the CDC recommends 10 days of isolation, but airlines for the United States prefer to have a maximum of five.

In response, the flight attendants’ association, AFA, wrote in another letter to Valensky that he should be isolated for ten days and that any change in protocol should be based on science and not on staff issues.

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In fact, employee problems are not new. During the epidemics, the major American airlines received $ 54,000 million in public assistance, which they could not lay off.

However, what they did to save costs was reduce staffing with voluntary layoffs or early retirements, thus finding that when the demand for flights this year recovered, there were not enough staff to cover all routes.

Increase in the number of passengers

While airlines are struggling to sustain their flight plans, most U.S. travelers are following their travel plans this holiday season, according to data from the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration (TSA).

In particular, about 2.2 million people passed through U.S. airports on Thursday, which is three times more than it was before Christmas Eve in 2019 and last year.

The Omigran variant has caused an increase in epidemics worldwide and led to the re-imposition of restrictions on the leisure and hospitality sectors in some European countries, such as Germany, Portugal and Finland.

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