Over 2,300 Flights Canceled On Friday In U.S. Due To Staffing Shortages

Arbiter Writing

FlightAware reports more than 2,300 flights passing in and out of the United States canceled as of Friday as the Northeast's widespread winter weather worsens and the spread of the Omicron variant increases. As of 9:30 am EST, an additional 1,049 flights have been reported delayed.

Domestic airports most affected by these announcements include Denver International Airport, New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport, Boston's Logan Airport, and New York City's LaGuardia Airport. These locations have all received several inches of snow as of Friday morning.

More cancellations are expected to be announced in the wake of the Omicron variant continuing to result in staffing shortages, with close to 600 in total stopped as of Saturday. Many airlines are already canceling future flights with Alaska Airlines's Thursday announcement regarding the cessation of 10% of the remaining January flights. In a similar announcement, JetBlue canceled nearly 1,300 flights between December 30 and January 13.

These widespread delays and notices have been hampering air travel in the United States for 2 weeks. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day saw 1500 and 2600 cancellations during the same time window, respectively. In accordance with a report issued by the Associated Press, the total reached a peak of over 3,200 by Monday; a figure encompassing an eighth of all domestic flights. Despite this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shortened the time of isolation for individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 from 10 days to 5 days to compensate for staffing shortages.

Snow on Friday marked the season's first major storm to assault the majority of the Northeastern region. Furthermore, ABC News reported some 37 states were under a weather warning as of Thursday. This storm has resulted in over 5 inches of snow in New York City, up to 9 inches in Boston, and 4 inches in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.

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