© Reuters. File photo: An airplane takes off from London Heathrow Airport, London, England, shortly after taking off at sunset, December 11, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville
(Reuters)-On Sunday, more than 3,800 flights around the world were cancelled, more than half of which were U.S. flights, which exacerbated the holiday week travel interruption caused by the surge in coronavirus cases caused by severe weather and the Omicron variant.
According to data from the tracking website FlightAware.com, the cancelled flights as of Sunday evening GMT include more than 2,200 flights in and out of the United States or within the United States. Globally, there are more than 8,800 flight delays.
The airlines with the most cancelled flights include Tianxi FlightAware shows that (NASDAQ:) and Southwest Airlines each have more than 400 cancellations.
The Christmas and New Year holidays are usually the peak of air travel, but the rapid spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant has led to a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections, forcing airlines to cancel flights during the quarantine of pilots and crews.
Due to a shortage of personnel related to the coronavirus, transportation agencies across the United States have also suspended or reduced services.
Omicron brought a record number of cases and suppressed New Year celebrations in most parts of the world.
The increase in COVID cases in the United States has caused some companies to change their plans to increase the number of employees working in the office starting Monday.
According to Reuters statistics, US authorities registered at least 346,869 new coronavirus cases on Saturday. The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States increased by at least 377 to 828,562.
Despite the lucrative financial incentives, American airline crews, pilots and support staff are reluctant to work overtime during the holidays. Some airline unions say that many people are worried about contracting COVID-19 and do not welcome the prospect of dealing with unruly passengers.
In the months leading up to the holidays, due to the pandemic that has left the industry in trouble, airlines are recruiting staff to ensure stable staffing after taking vacations or laying off thousands of people in the past 18 months.
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