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Almost 20K American flights canceled since Christmas Eve amid staff shortages, Omicron surge

This week, hundreds more US flights were canceled as winter weather and staff shortages resulting from the omicron surge have left passengers grounded across the country.

More than 1,400 flights were canceled before 2pm on Tuesday this week as a winter storm swept across the Eastern United States, and 2,300 more were delayed. According to airline flight information provider FlightAware, almost 20,000 US flights have been canceled since Christmas Eve. 

The time between Christmas Eve and New Year was expected to be the busiest travel time of the year, but the sharp spike in omicron cases across the country have left airlines short-staffed and crews strained.

“Given the ongoing surge in COVID cases and related sick calls, we’ve been working with each of our major partners to proactively reduce the remainder of our January schedules to ensure we’re able to adequately staff our remaining flying as we work to recover in the coming weeks,” SkyWest airlines said in a statement this week.

Investors are not showing signs of worry over losses of revenue during what should have been the most profitable travel period of last year.

Looking ahead to advancements in the fight against COVID-19, Citigroup Airline Analyst Steven Trent says, “higher vaccination rates and emerging anti-viral treatments are just some of the factors that could make negative, knee-jerk stock price reactions to the emergence of future variants look increasingly unreasonable.”

ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: WASHINGTON POST

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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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