Airlines around the world have been forced to cancel more than 4,500 flights during the end-of-year holidays.
A growing wave of Coronavirus infections, driven by the omicron variant, has increased mystery and hardship for holiday travelers.
The FlightAware website said that airlines canceled globally were at least 2,401 flights on Friday. About ten thousand more flights were delayed.
The site said that 1,799 flights on Friday were canceled around the world, in addition to another 402 flights that were scheduled for Sunday.
Commercial air traffic to and from the United States accounts for more than a quarter of all weekend flights.
Coronavirus injuries in the United States have risen in recent days due to the fast-spreading Omicron. The variant was first discovered in November and now accounts for nearly three-quarters of infections in the United States and up to 90% of the cases in some areas such as the East Coast.
A Reuters statistic stated that the average number of new infections in the United States rose 45% to 179,000 cases per day during the past week.
The world was expecting more détente by Christmas, this December, due to the availability of vaccines, and some improvement in the epidemiological situation. But the emergence of the new mutant last month did the opposite.
Many countries in Europe were forced to re-impose strict restrictions to avoid a “pandemic setback”. The Netherlands announced a strict closure until mid-January. Other countries, including Ireland, chose to restrict the access to restaurants and bars.
The new closures constitute painful blows to the global economy, which was awaiting this period of the year to recover.
The global economy suffered heavy losses during 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic.
Those wishing to travel face many obstacles. This is because many countries experience turbulent epidemiological situation and do not allow entertainment. Or they fear that countries decide to close the borders, and they remain stuck abroad.