Hundreds of flights were canceled in the U.S. on Sunday, Dec. 26, in part due to an airline worker shortage caused by the COVID-19 Omicron variant, according to the New York Post.
As of midday Sunday, 830 flights into, within, or out of the U.S. were canceled, according to Flight Aware, an airline tracking website. Nearly 1,000 flights were canceled into, within, or out of the U.S. on Dec. 25, per FlightAware. The flight tracker reported 2,858 canceled flights worldwide on Christmas Day and another 2,399 worldwide on Dec. 26.
Spokespeople for Delta, United Airlines, and JetBlue told the New York Post that staffing shortages caused by the spread of the Omicron variant canceled over 10 percent of their Christmas season flights.
An American Airlines spokesperson told the Post that the airline’s Christmas Day flight cancellations were due to “COVID-related sick calls.” American Airlines reported 90 cancellations on Saturday.
A United Airlines representative told the Post that it is unclear when “unexpected” flight cancellations will end. The airline sent out messages to customers stating that flights were preemptively canceled due to the Omicron variant, according to ABC News.
BREAKING: United Airlines is preemptively cancelling flights due to Omicron impacts on flight crews. 112 flights are cancelled already for Friday. pic.twitter.com/YFIe58Sd1O
— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) December 23, 2021
United Airlines canceled 103 flights as of midday Sunday, despite a vaccine mandate for all employees. 96 percent of United’s U.S. workforce complied with the company’s vaccine mandate, according to CNBC. The remaining 593 who failed to comply were terminated. (RELATED: ‘Anything That Could Get People More Vaccinated’: Fauci Counters Biden On Domestic Air Travel Vaccine Mandates)
Delta and JetBlue boasted that their workforces are 90 percent and 98 percent vaccinated respectively, according to CNBC and Forbes. Per Flight Aware, Delta and JetBlue canceled the most flights on Dec. 26, despite their high vaccination rates. Delta has canceled 136 flights. JetBlue has canceled 110.
Representatives for Delta, United, and American did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.