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Omicron: more than 2000 canceled flights worldwide; Canada spared | Coronavirus


According to the Flightaware website, around 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time there were at least 2,272 flight cancellations on Friday, of which 585 are United States-related trips, whether international or internal.

As of Thursday, 2,231 flights had been canceled, according to the same source.

Many companies questioned by AFP referred to the new wave of the pandemic, which particularly affects crews, as one of the main causes linked to these cancellations.

According to Flightaware, United Airlines had to cancel more than 180 flights on Friday, or 8% of those that were scheduled.

The peak of Omicron cases across the country this week has had a direct impact on our crews and the people who run our operations, explained the company, which assured to strive to find solutions to remove the affected passengers.

Delta Air Lines also canceled 163 flights, according to Flightaware, citing both Omicron and, occasionally, adverse weather conditions.

Delta teams have exhausted all options and resources before coming to these cancellations, argues the airline.

More than ten Alaska Airlines flights, which employees said have been potentially exposed to the virus and had to self-isolate in quarantine, were also canceled.

These cancellations disrupt the desire to resume travel this year for the holidays, after a Christmas 2020 hit hard by the pandemic.

According to estimates by the American Automobile Association, more than 109 million Americans were expected to leave their immediate area by plane, train or car between December 23 and January 2, an increase of 34% from the year last.

For example, the airline American Airlines had planned 5,300 flights Thursday, as many as the two previous days.

This represents 86% of our flight schedule for the same period of 2019, during the last holiday season before COVID-19 comes at length to obstruct most of the travel, the company said.

But most of these trips had been planned before the outbreak of the highly contagious Omicron variant, which spreads at full speed and forces many people to self-isolate even without symptoms.

Fortunately, these disruptions did not have any consequences for Santa’s tour, which the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has scrupulously followed for 63 years.

And this thanks in particular to a sensor installed in the nose of Rudolph, one of the reindeer who pulls the sled.

It is going very well so far, Santa has given out two billion gifts and he is currently above Pakistan, told AFP Major General Eric Kenny, who commands the North American Aerospace Defense Command for the Canada region, early afternoon Eastern Standard Time.

The President of the United States himself was keen to ensure that the distribution went smoothly.

From the White House and in front of the cameras, Joe Biden inquired about Santa’s journey with the North American Aerospace Defense Command, before speaking, over the phone, to children and families also curious about the sleigh tour.

But the Democratic president was overtaken by the very strong political antagonisms in the United States, when a father, to whom he had just wished happy holidays, launched to him, according to the journalists present: Merry Christmas, and Let’s go brandon !

This expression has taken on a pejorative connotation in the mouths of opponents of President Biden.

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