Wave of canceled flights from omicron closes out 2021

National & World News
Jessica Andrijauskas

Jessica Andrijauskas, from Buenos Aires, rests her head on her luggage as she awaits the results of her COVID-19 test, at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, in Arlington, Va. Winter weather and crew members infected with COVID-19 have forced airlines to spike thousands of U.S. flights over the past week, complicating travel plans for many people during the busy holiday season. It’s not clear when travel will return to normal, but airlines say a recent move by U.S. public health officials should help get workers back sooner. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Associated Press) — Flight cancellations surged again on the last day of 2021, with airlines blaming it on crew shortages related to the spike in COVID-19 infections.

By late morning Friday on the East Coast, airlines scrubbed more than 1,550 U.S. flights, according to tracking service FlightAware.

The disruptions are likely to inconvenience hundreds of thousands of air travelers over the New Year’s holiday weekend.

Already airlines have canceled 1,500 flights for Saturday.

Canceled flights began rising shortly before Christmas, driven by the remnants of the delta variant and the rise of the new omicron variant of COVID-19.

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