Three airlines in the United States have
cancelled nearly 300 Christmas Eve flights due to the rising threat of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

On Thursday, United Airlines (UAL)
said it had to “cancel some flights” because of the rise in omicron
cases, CNN reported.

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“The nationwide spike in Omicron cases
this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run
our operation,” said a United Airlines memo.

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United Airlines has cancelled more than 150
flights, according to the flight-tracking site FlightAware. “Notifying impacted
customers in advance of them coming to the airport,” the airlines said in
a statement. “We’re sorry for the disruption and are working hard to
rebook as many people as possible and get them on their way for the holidays”, it added.

On Thursday night, Delta Airlines (DAL)
also cancelled more than 100 flights on Christmas Eve, according to

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Delta also said the cancellations are due
to multiple issues including the omicron variant.

“We apologize to our customers for the
delay in their holiday travel plans,” Delta said in a statement.
“Delta people are working hard to get them to where they need to be as quickly
and as safely as possible on the next available flight.”

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Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines said in a
statement that it cancelled 17 flights because of omicron and more
cancellations are possible on Christmas Eve.

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Airlines for America (A4A), the group that
lobbies on behalf of all major US airlines, is calling on the Centres for
Disease Control and Prevention to shorten the quarantine time for fully
vaccinated individuals, saying the omicron surge may create
“significant” disruptions. “The omicron surge may exacerbate
personnel shortages and create significant disruptions to our workforce and
operations,” Nick Calio, A4A’s CEO, said in a letter on Thursday to CDC
Director Rochelle Walensky.