Politics

COVID’s Omicron plunges US airports into chaos as 2,700 flights canned


Air travel continued to be severely disrupted in the United States with bad weather adding to the impact of a massive spike in COVID-19 infections.

WASHINGTON – Air travel continued to be severely disrupted in the United States on Saturday, with bad weather in parts of the country adding to the impact of a massive spike in COVID-19 infections fuelled by the Omicron variant.

The United States had 2,723 cancelled flights, more than half of the 4,698 cancelled worldwide, around 11pm, according to tracking website FlightAware.

In addition, 5,993 domestic flights were delayed on Saturday, out of a total of 11.043 worldwide for the day.

The worst affected US airline was SkyWest, which had to cancel 23% of its flight schedule, according to the site.

In the United States, airports in Chicago were particularly hard-hit because of bad weather, with a snowstorm expected in the area on Saturday afternoon and into the night.

The global air travel industry is still reeling from the highly contagious Omicron variant.

Many pilots, flight attendants and other staff are absent from work after contracting COVID-19, or because they are quarantining after encountering someone who has the infection.

Some 7,500 flights were cancelled by airlines worldwide over the Christmas weekend.

SOUTH AFRICA’S COVID NUMBERS

In South Africa, meanwhile, 9,818 cases of COVID-19 were reported over the last 24 hour period.

53 more people have died from the virus, bringing the recovery rate to 91.8%





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