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Chaos at US airports continues as more than 2,600 flights canceled | News about coronavirus pandemic




FlightAware says that more than 2,600 flights were canceled in the United States, almost 4,600 worldwide.

Air traffic continues to be severely disrupted in the United States, with bad weather in parts of the country contributing to the effect of an increase in COVID-19 infections driven by the Omicron variant.

The United States had 2,604 canceled flights on Saturday, more than half of the 4,529 canceled worldwide, just after 4:30 p.m. (21:30 GMT), according to tracking site FlightAware.

Among international airlines, China Eastern scrubbed more than 500 flights, or about a quarter of the total, and Air China canceled more than 200 flights, a fifth of the plan, according to FlightAware.

The US cancellations represent the highest one-day fee since just before Christmas when airlines began announcing staff shortages due to increasing COVID infections among crews.

The most affected US airline was Southwest, which had to cancel 450 flights across the country or 1[ads1]3 percent of the route, according to the website.

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines scrubbed more than 200 flights each, and United Airlines canceled more than 150.

SkyWest, a regional airline that operates flights under the names American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express, put 480 flights on the ground, a quarter of the plan. A spokesman said the weather in the cities of Chicago, Denver and Detroit as well as a COVID peak were to blame.

Airports in Chicago were particularly hard hit due to severe weather, with a snowstorm waiting in the area Saturday afternoon and into the night.

More than 800 flights were scrubbed at O’Hare Airport and more than 250 at Midway Airport.

More than 12,000 US flights have been canceled since December 24.

Airlines say they are taking steps to reduce cancellations. United offers to pay pilots triple or more of their regular salary to catch open flights through most of January. Spirit Airlines has entered into an agreement with the Association of Flight Attendants on double pay for cabin crew until Tuesday, a union spokeswoman said.

The global aviation industry is still unwell by the highly contagious Omicron variant.

Many pilots, flight attendants and other staff are absent from work after being infected with COVID, or are in quarantine after coming into contact with an infected person.





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