Airlines including Delta, United, and Germany-based Lufthansa recently revealed that they were experiencing flight cancellations over the Christmas holidays as a result of an ongoing spread of COVID-19. The highly contagious Omicron variant has infected flight crews and kept many from work, which has then led to major airline companies having to cancel flights in order to keep situations from spiraling out of control.
Both Delta Airlines and United Airlines both publicly revealed that they were forced to cancel dozens of Christmas flights on Christmas Eve as a result of staff shortages, likely tied to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. While United revealed it was canceling over 100 flights on Christmas Eve, United also revealed it had to cancel about 90 flights because of both bad weather and staff shortages combined.
This latest airline news comes after major airline companies in the United States expressed their worry that the Omicron variant would hinder their path to recovery. The airline companies have long struggled since the pandemic began because of infection surges around the country (and around the world), as well as the many restrictions and regulations put in place in regard to travel. However, once more Americans and people around the world began to become fully vaccinated, airlines started to look optimistically towards the future.
The Delta variant hindered the road to recovery slightly, though many airlines managed to work around the last variant. The Omicron variant may prove to be slightly more difficult, simply because it is considered an incredibly infectious variant. Already, according to this latest news, airlines are dealing with Omicron spreading throughout its staff, leading to a shortage of workers. A shortage of flight crew can quickly become a huge issue and disrupt complex flight plans. Already, hundreds of flights are having to be canceled because of this reason.
Previously, many airline companies were just worried about the restrictions that were being put back in place because of the Omicron variant. These restrictions have impacted how people are able to travel, and many airlines were worried it would keep them from conducting business as needed. However, now the Omicron variant may be more worrisome when it comes to how it affects flight crews and staff.
This latest news comes amid many other industries struggling to keep business afloat amidst the growing wave of Omicron infections. The highly contagious variant has caused infections to surge in various locations around the United States, as well as around the world. This has caused many industries and businesses to experience business problems, such as staff shortages in a very busy holiday shopping season.
As the winter continues, airline flights may have to continue to be canceled in the future, especially if Omicron continues to spread among the flight crew. Therefore, seeing cancellations may become more normal than not, unfortunately. If the Omicron variant slows down in its spread, much like the Delta variant eventually did, then Americans may not have to worry too much about traveling on airlines in the future.