The shocking news of the cancelation of Christmas Eve flights due to the recent abrupt increase of Omicron cases disturbed several passengers. More than 150 flights are canceled by United Airlines. These flights were supposed to depart dozens of airports by Friday. As per Flight Aware, they also canceled more than 44 flights that have a take-off schedule on Saturday. The Delta airlines also canceled more than 90 flights.
All this happens due to an unexpected increase in the Omicron infected cases. According to the report of recent research on Omicron infection, this infection is milder than the Delta variant. But, the infection may send several people to hospitals. Now the US is facing the same situation. Various cases of Omicron infection are coming to the hospitals globally. That’s why JetBlue, Delta, and Allegiant airlines are also canceling their Christmas Eve flights like United Airlines.
In addition to this, Australia is also facing a similar situation at this time. They are also canceling all the flights from the main cities like Melbourne and Sydney. Australians are also struggling now from the recent sudden spread of Omicron infection. If the same situation persists, then Omicron cases will soon cross the number of original pandemic coronavirus cases.
According to the website of Flight Aware, the number of total cancellations of flights globally is around 3,800 till now. The last-minute cancellation of these Friday and Saturday flights disturbed the Christmas programs of several passengers. This was the last blow of this holiday season because of the Omicron Variant. More than 70% latest coronavirus cases are reported in the USA.
Direct Impact of Omicron on Flight Crews
As per the statement of United Airlines, the main reason for flight cancellation is the direct impact of the Omicron variant on their crews and other people running their operations. Joshua Freed, a spokesman for United Airlines said we informed our customers as early as possible for us. Even though Joshua Freed said that he did not expect the airlines will cancel more flights, but, still it is possible.
He explained that they are managing schedules day by day in such situations. Moreover, there may be a possibility of some more cancellations of Christmas Eve flights on Saturday. In his statement, he said that we are trying to rebook customers as much as we can for this holiday season. Customers of various airlines used social media to express their sadness and worries about flight cancellations.
According to live data of coronavirus, the test results of more than 170,000 people are coming positive daily in the USA. In the last two weeks, the increase in Omicron infection cases is 38%.
In Australia, after more than 500 reported Omicron cases, several members of airlines were unable to join their duty. Some of them are sick, and some are close relatives of infected patients. Due to this reason, as per government’s instructions, they must remain isolated for some time from others.
Jetstar Airways also said that several members of frontline teams are close relatives of patients of Omicron infection. That’s why they need to be isolated and, they will also perform coronavirus detection tests. We have to make some adjustments in this situation.
On December 24th, airlines canceled 80 flights from Sydney, the most popular city in Australia. The Flight tracking website of Melbourne Airport also confirms the cancellation of more than 45 flights. No doubt thousands of their customers are not feeling good about this Christmas Eve flight cancellation.
Spread of Omicron Cases | New Years’ Celebrations at Times Square
The wild spread of Omicron infection also infects the staff of various airlines. On the other hand, the sudden increase in Omicron cases forced the mayor to restrict the entry of people at Times Square for New Year’s celebrations.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the number of people will be reduced at New Year’s celebration at Time square. A reason behind this scaling back of Time square’s celebration is the spread of Omicron Infection. The mayor further said that officials are monitoring the current outbreak of the Omicron variant. So, there is a chance of the announcement of additional precautions in the coming days.
Furthermore, the attendees of the celebration will wear masks and show proof of completion of vaccination. In addition to this, the number of attendees also reduced to 15,000 from 58,000. Still, there is an expectation of a further decrease of this count of attendees. All of this is essential to maintain a good social distance between people.
According to the governor’s office, New York reported more than 60% of the Omicron cases. Almost 39,000 new Omicron infection cases were reported on Thursday. New York City contributed to the total number of cases, with 23,000 new Omicron infected cases on Thursday.
The Mayor also said that this rise in coronavirus cases will decrease soon. There is no need to be panic; people have to follow the precautions and guidelines properly. He further said that the implementation of the vaccine strict mandates and incentive strategy for vaccines will reduce this number of cases.
He said that only these few weeks are tough, and soon the situation will come under control. We are fighting against this disease very hard. So, maintain social distance and follow proper coronavirus precautions to stay healthy.
Flight Cancellation and New Year’s Celebrations | Health Experts Opinions
Health experts have different opinions regarding New Year’s Eve celebration at Times Square. Denis Nash, an epidemiology professor at Cuny School of Public health said that holding an event in such situation is not good. He added that we are facing the latest variant surge, and we should not let more people to become infected.
In addition to this, he said that visitors from different states and countries are coming for this grand event. So, he is afraid that people could pick the Omicron variant and take it to their place also. In such circumstances, we can increase the Omicron cases in the coming days through social gatherings.
But, the dean at the Brown University School of Public Health said that we are happy with this decision of the Mayor. Mr. Ashish K. Jha said that it’s a good decision that the mayor didn’t announce a complete shutdown.
He said that through vaccination and maintaining social distance, we could control the spread of the Omicron variant. No doubt, it is psychologically good to see that after a long time we can celebrate things. He said that we could manage things safely.
The attendees who received both doses of vaccination 14 days before December 31st are only allowed to the New Year’s Eve celebration. The ball drop ceremony will mark the last day of Mr. De Blasio in office. People are learning to live again, and we will also fight strongly with the Omicron variant.
There is also a chance that people can watch the ball drop from surrounding restaurants, hotels, and office buildings. The whole event will be organized under strict safety measures, and only people wearing masks and having vaccination proof are allowed. These precautions are necessary to control the rising number of Omicron cases.