International airlines are canceling more than 2,000 Christmas flights during an omicron operation

More than 450 canceled flights were scheduled within, inside or outside the United States, according to FlightAware aircraft tracking website.


Travelers who are able and willing to keep their Christmas plans despite the proliferation of the various Covid-19 omicron have encountered a new obstacle: canceled flights.

A growing number of airlines have been forced to withdraw as a new type of global cover stops the thousands of holiday destinations that people expect.

As of Friday morning, international airlines have canceled more than 2,000,000 flights, according to FlightAware aircraft tracking website.

Of those canceled, at least 454 were scheduled within, within or outside the U.S.

Many airlines, including United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines, have said they have been forced to cancel hundreds of pre-Christmas flights due to omicron differences affecting staff and employees.

United Airlines said it cut off 112 flights from its Friday program as the exception spread across the country and affected its employees.

"The increase in omicron incidents across the country this week has had a direct impact on our flight attendants and the people who carry out our work," the airline said in a statement.

He said he would re-book as many travelers as possible.

Delta Air Lines has apologized, blaming omicron diversity and potentially bad weather in places like Seattle and Salt Lake City by canceling 90 flights scheduled for Friday.

"Delta teams have used all means and resources - including the replacement of aircraft and personnel instead of shutting down planned flights - before canceling," the airline said in a statement Thursday.

Alaska Airlines canceled 17 flights on Thursday after some crew reported being exposed to Covid. Additional cancellations could take place on Friday "in this volatile situation," the airline said in a statement.

A spokesman for American Airlines said no cancellations were planned. Some airlines did not immediately respond to questions about Friday's program.

Meanwhile, German airline Lufthansa said it had been forced to cancel several long-distance flights due to illness among its employees, although a NBC News spokesman said they could not confirm the illness was due to Covid.

"Currently there is a significant increase in sick leave," a spokesman said. "Therefore, we have canceled individual flights across the North Atlantic, eg to Washington, Boston and Houston from Frankfurt." They said efforts were underway to re-book passengers on other flights.

Although the holiday season brings many travelers, the day before Christmas is usually one of the slowest days of all time, according to the trading group Airlines for America.

The organization said US travel over the weekend thanksgiving had grown by nearly 90 percent of pre-epidemic levels.

AAA said on December 14 holiday travel will almost triple compared to last year, when the epidemic spread to aviation and tourism. An estimated 109 million Americans are expected to travel by airplane, automobile and other transportation this month.

After millions of people made plans for the December trip, the omicron variant grew rapidly to about three-quarters of Covid's cases and introduced new pandemics, including international travel restrictions.