Thousands of flights canceled around the world

The Omicron variant continues to play a spoiler: Flight cancellations doubled on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, much to the chagrin of many travelers around the world. According to FlightAware, at least 5,076 flights were made on Friday and Saturday. The site also expected more than 900 cancellations on Sunday.

choral laplante

choral laplante

At Montreal Trudeau Airport, 20 flights were canceled on Friday and Saturday, according to FlightAware, which lists flights around the world in real time and predicts arrival times.

Air Transat said it did not cancel any of its flights on December 24 and 25 Journalism Airline spokesman Pierre Tessier.

“We have enough crews to maintain our schedule. Therefore, we are not as impacted as some other airlines,” Air Canada Media Relations wrote in the meantime in an email sent to Journalism.

In the United States, the situation is more serious.

Several US airlines are grappling with personnel issues, due to the spread of COVID-19. On Friday, airlines Delta, United and JetBlue said alternative Omicron, which has infected employees, could lead to flight cancellations. Delta canceled 15 percent of its business Saturday, according to FlightAware.

As of Friday, 690 flights to, from, or transit through the country have been cancelled. There were no 951 thefts on Saturday.

“We don’t have the same issues as our US counterparts and have some of the highest customer numbers in the last days since the pandemic began. The vast majority of cancellations we’ve posted in the past 48 hours are weather-related,” Canadian airline WestJet explained in writing.

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Chinese airlines have canceled most flights. China Eastern canceled 545 flights on Saturday, more than a quarter of its scheduled flights. Air China canceled 267 flights, accounting for 24% of its scheduled flights.

As of Saturday, more than 6,350 flights around the world had been delayed.

Transat Airlines is reviewing its winter flight schedule

The spokesperson explained that the airline “Air Transat” made the decision to review its flight schedule from January 12 to February 25, “due to the rapid rise of the Omicron variant and the effects of new restrictive measures put in place by the federal government.” Pierre Tessier.

“The vast majority of our travels [auront lieu] As expected during this period. Depending on how the situation evolves, we will determine if other adjustments will be necessary for the remainder of our winter programme.”

But canceled flights have caused discontent among some travelers.

Frédéric Racine was scheduled to travel to Cuba at the beginning of February with his wife. On December 22, the airline emailed him to inform him that his flight was cancelled, because Air Transat was reducing its offer of flights for the winter season.

We found it a short delay to cancel.

Frédéric Racine, who was going to travel to Cuba at the beginning of February

Mr. Racine in an interview with JournalismAnd It is believed that many changes can occur in more than a month in terms of hygienic procedures.

He has not yet sought to replace his canceled flight. He is waiting for guidance coming from the federal government, which will be for travelers, in order to check if he can still get travel insurance.

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Air Transat offers two options to passengers whose flight has been canceled: either accept a new route to reach their destination, or cancel their flight and get a refund.

‘There is still a lot of uncertainty’

In CAA-Quebec, where consumers can purchase travel insurance, Quebec residents’ reluctance to travel has been felt since the advent of the Omicron variant.

“This has chilled out anyone who wants to travel during the holiday season,” said CAA-Quebec spokesperson Nicholas Ryan. “There is still a lot of uncertainty,” he adds, noting that this is why so many people have canceled their flights.

After government announcements or the release of new information regarding outbreaks of COVID-19 cases, more people are calling CAA-Quebec with questions about their trip.

I think now is not the time to talk about optimism. We are a little more pessimistic about the current situation. Will it last two weeks, three weeks, a month, longer than that? “This is the big variable that we ourselves don’t know about yet,” said Nicholas Ryan.

With the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse

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