The week began with another wave of international flights that were canceled for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Omicron version progressed, leading to aerial chaos that disrupts festive periods for thousands of people. Bad weather also played a role in some places.
According to a survey by FlightAware website, more than 2.5 thousand flights were canceled on this Monday (27/12). The largest number of cancellations involved flights to or from the US and China.
In Brazil, the site identified 116 delays and 2 cancellations on Sunday (26), and 29 delays and one cancellation as of Monday afternoon.
According to the airlines, the reason for the cancellation is the isolation of crew members who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who need to be quarantined because of their exposure to infected passengers.
And there are cases such as Hong Kong, which decided to veto all Korean Air Company flights from South Korea for two weeks, following the identification of positive cases of Covid-19 among passengers.
In all, more than 8,300 flights failed to take off during the Christmas weekend, which began on Friday. Tens of thousands more were delayed.
While the number of cancellations is a small percentage of the total travel duration, it is a higher number than in typical, pre-Covid-19 years – and at a time when many people were eager to review with family and friends.
There has been an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, which, according to preliminary analyses, appears to be more contagious, although its symptoms (even according to preliminary analyses) appear to be mild, especially in people who have been fully vaccinated. Or with a dose of reinforcement. However, all of these would need to be confirmed or refuted by further studies.
According to a FlightAware survey, the majority of cancellations on Monday are from Chinese airlines – China Eastern alone canceled more than 420 flights and Air China over 190 flights.
Beijing and Shanghai are among the most affected airports – which together saw more than 300 cancellations.
Chinese officials have not commented on the issue, but the country has recorded its highest number of daily Covid-19 infections in 21 months. In the city of Xi’an, more than 13 million residents had been quarantined as of Sunday to stem a surge in cases.
In the US, the most affected airlines are JetBlue and United, with Seattle-Tacoma airport the most affected.
Last week, United warned that an increase in Omicron-type cases was already “having a direct impact on our crew and the people running our operations” as many employees were forced into isolation after coming into contact with infected people. become.
A woman stranded at a Detroit airport told Reuters she was surrounded by other angry, frustrated and exhausted passengers.
In addition, weather problems have also disrupted US air and ground traffic. For example, a heavy blizzard has delayed flights and disrupted highways in Washington state.
And at least three cruise ships had to return to their home ports after COVID-19 cases were detected on board.
Omicron is already considered the dominant version in the US.
Anthony Fauci, who heads the anti-Covid task force in the US, warned that the number of cases of the disease is rising and “has a tendency to increase significantly”, which “could potentially affect hospitals, especially especially in areas where there is “a high proportion of illiterate people”.