Travel chaos continues with more flights cancelled in US and elsewhere
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Air travel continued to be severely disrupted in the United States over the weekend, with bad weather in parts of the country adding to the impact of a massive spike in Covid-19 infections fuelled by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The United States had at least 2,723 cancelled flights, more than half of some 4,700 cancelled worldwide on Saturday (Jan 1), going by figures from tracking website FlightAware.
In addition, nearly 6,000 domestic flights were delayed on Saturday, out of a total of more than 11,000 worldwide for the day.
The worst affected US airline was Southwest, which had to cancel 13 percent of its flight schedule, according to the site.
Airports in Chicago were particularly hard-hit because of bad weather, with a snowstorm expected in the area.
The global air travel industry is still reeling from the highly contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Many pilots, flight attendants and other staff are absent from work after contracting Covid-19, or because they are quarantining after coming in contact with someone who has the infection.
Some 7,500 flights were cancelled by airlines worldwide over the Christmas weekend.