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Hundreds More Flights Canceled On Monday Amid Omicron Surge

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Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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Hundreds more flights worldwide were canceled on Dec. 27 in part due to staff shortages caused by the COVID-19 Omicron variant, according to Flight Aware, an airline tracking website.

By mid-morning on Dec. 27, 788 flights into, within, or out of the United States were canceled and 2,279 flights were canceled worldwide, according to Flight Aware. A bulk of the worldwide cancellations stem from Chinese airlines including 421 cancellations from China Eastern Airlines and 196 from Air China.

Christmas weekend saw a significant uptick in canceled flights, with 3,274 flights canceled worldwide on Dec. 26. Over 1,500 flights were canceled into, within, or out of the U.S. on the same day, per Flight Aware. (RELATED: More Than 700 Flights Canceled Amid Omicron Surge)

Representatives for Delta, JetBlue, and United Airlines told the New York Post that staffing shortages caused by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant canceled approximately 10 percent of their Christmas season flights.

An American Airlines representative told the Post that its increase in Christmas Day flight cancellations was due to “COVID-related sick calls.”

On Sunday, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci called for a vaccination mandate for domestic air travel. President Joe Biden previously stated that a vaccine mandate for domestic air travel are not “necessary at this time.”

Some pundits took to Twitter to blame the mass flight cancellations on unvaccinated Americans. Political commentator Lindy Li said that requiring the vaccine for passengers is a “no brainer” as “flying is a privilege, not a right.”

“Delta and United Airlines just cancelled hundreds of flights on Christmas Eve due to Omicron,” Li said. “It’s sheer insanity that the unvaccinated are still allowed to fly and unvaxxed crew are still allowed to work. Requiring a jab to fly is a no brainer. Flying is a privilege, not a right.”

United Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and American Airlines all have vaccine mandates or requirements for staff. Delta boasts a 90% vaccination rate, according to CNBC. JetBlue boasts a vaccination rate of over 98%, according to Forbes. Delta canceled 60 flights on Dec. 27 and JetBlue canceled 66.

United Airlines mandated the vaccine for its employees and fired the 593 who failed to comply, according to CNBC.

Representatives for Delta, United, and American did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.