4 major airlines cancel hundreds of Christmas flights due to omicron surge

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There's turbulence within the domestic airline industry after thousands of flights were canceled due to staffing shortages caused by COVID.

Hundreds of flights never took the skies on Christmas Eve, and now more than 900 flights combined have been canceled on Christmas between four of the major U.S. airlines. About 250 flights are already canceled for Sunday.
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Delta, United and JetBlue announced they are canceling more than 300 flights on Christmas Eve -- some due to the surge of the omicron variant.



According to the website FlightAware, Delta Airlines has canceled 282 flights, approximately 14% of their total departures.

United Airlines is right behind them with 238 canceled flights, about 12% of their departures.

Meanwhile, FlightAware has JetBlue at 120 cancellations and American Airlines at 88.

Weather was to blame for a few of the cancellations, but airlines cite the nationwide surge in COVID cases as the primary cause.

This comes as more than two million air travelers passed through checkpoints on Thursday.

ALSO READ | Busiest travel day of the year underway amid COVID surge across Tri-State

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What's expected to be the busiest travel day of the year is underway amid a surge of COVID cases across the Tri-State region. Sonia Rincón reports from LaGuardia Airport with the l



AAA says they expect to see relatively low travel numbers on Christmas day and the roads will see "minimal congestion."

However, Sunday is expected to be the third busiest day to return from a trip if you are flying, according to Hopper.



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