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Christmas Flightmare continues with third straight day of airline cancellations

Omicron outbreaks sideline pilots and crews during busy holiday season.

Published: December 26, 2021 12:43pm

Updated: December 26, 2021 2:19pm

U.S. airlines canceled hundreds more flights for a third straight day Sunday as the omicron variant of COVID-19 sickened pilots, crews and staff and wreaked havoc with Christmas travel.

FlightAware, a flight tracking site, said more than 6,000 flights globally were canceled from Christmas Eve through Sunday. That included 700 canceled flights and 1,300 delayed flights in the United States on Sunday.

United and Delta were among the hardest hit airlines.

“As winter weather impacts the northwest and northeast U.S. the omicron variant continues to surge, Delta teams exhausted all options and resources before canceling around 158 flights in Friday's nearly 3,100-flight schedule," Delta said in a statement.

"A combination of issues, including but not limited to inclement weather in some areas of the country and the impact of the omicron variant, are driving cancellations and potential delays,” it added.