Thousands of Weekend Flights Canceled over Covid, Weather Issues

A sign advertises COVID-19 testing at Logan International Airport in Boston, Mass., November 22, 2021.
(Brian Snyder/Reuters)

Several thousands flights were canceled in the U.S. over the new year weekend amid continuing Covid-related disruptions and weather issues.

Airlines canceled 2,749 domestic flights on Saturday, with another 1,974 cancelations as of Sunday morning, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware. Additionally, over 7,000 flights in the U.S. were delayed on Saturday, while the site recorded over 1,200 delays on Sunday morning.

Over 12,000 U.S. flights were canceled over the past week, according to ABC News.

“Teams across our system continue to do all possible to mitigate constraints from increasing winter weather and the omicron variant,” Delta said in a statement on its website on Thursday.

The Federal Aviation Administration warned on Thursday that weather and Covid issues could continue to disrupt travel, and on Friday said some of its own operations could be cut back because of Covid.

“Like the rest of the U.S. population, an increased number of FAA employees have tested positive for COVID-19,” the agency said in a statement. “To maintain safety, traffic volume at some facilities could be reduced, which might result in delays during busy periods.”

Meanwhile, a snowstorm in Chicago forced the cancelation of close to half of all flights at O’Hare International Airport and a majority of flights at Midway International Airport.

The Chicago storm is “affecting both flights in and out of Chicago and other flight sequences for our crew,” American Airlines told ABC. “The number of COVID-related sick calls is consistent with what we have seen over the past few days.”

Flight cancelations began to multiply with the onset of the Christmas holiday and the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is also a violist, and has served in the Israeli Defense Forces.

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