Two of the largest US airlines United Airlines and Delta Air Lines canceled more than 200 flights this Christmas Eve amid the advance of the omicron variant of the coronavirus which affects their crews and other workers.
Chicago based United canceled 120 flights scheduled for this Friday 24 while Atlanta based Delta said it had canceled about 90 Both said they are working to contact passengers so they dont get stranded at airports
microns nationwide increase in cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation airport said United
Delta said it has exhausted all options and resources including aircraft and crew rerouting and replacements to cover scheduled flights before canceling about 90 flights for this Friday
The company also cited weather problems and the impact of the new wave of Covid19 to justify the decision
On Tuesday Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian urged the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC to reduce quarantine guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals who have Covid19 citing the impact on the carriers workforce
Bastian asked that the isolation period be reduced to five days its currently ten days
That request was echoed by both Airlines for America a trade group representing major freight and passenger carriers which wrote to the CDC on Thursday and by JetBlue on Wednesday 22
The CDC released updated quarantine guidelines for healthcare professionals on Thursday reducing isolation time to seven days for workers who test positive for Covid19 but are asymptomatic provided a retest after this period is negative.