Delta, United airlines canceling some Christmas Eve flights due to omicron surge

NEW YORK (WABC) -- At least two major airlines have announced they are collectively canceling more than 200 flights for Christmas Eve -- some due to the surge of the omicron variant.

United Airlines said Thursday it preemptively canceled 112 flights for Friday. The United app told customers on some canceled flights that it is "due to an increase in COVID cases limiting crew availability."

A spokesperson for United released the following statement:

"The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation. As a result, we've unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport. We're sorry for the disruption and are working hard to rebook as many people as possible and get them on their way for the holidays."

Delta Airlines is also proactively canceling around 90 flights for Friday, out of roughly 3,000 planned departures.

The airline says this is due to a combination of issues including potential inclement weather and the impact of the omicron variant.

A spokesperson released the following statement:

"Delta teams have exhausted all options and resources -- including rerouting and substitutions of aircraft and crews to cover scheduled flying -- before canceling around 90 flights for Friday. We apologize to our customers for the delay in their holiday travel plans. Delta people are working hard to get them to where they need to be as quickly and as safely as possible on the next available flight."

Additionally, Alaska Airlines says they have had to cancel a small number of flights over the past several days due to some of their employees quarantining after reporting that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The airline is now offering extra pay to their healthy employees who can work added shifts into this upcoming Christmas weekend. According to FlightAware, Alaska has only canceled nine flights so far for Christmas Eve.

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