Several airlines have announced cancelations of flights set to depart on Christmas Day due to the surge nationwide in COVID-19 cases after canceling hundreds of flights on Christmas Eve.
Nearly 700 flights in, to or out of the U.S. were canceled Friday while more than 3,600 were delayed. Hundreds more were canceled Saturday morning.
Update 11:30 a.m. EST Dec. 25: Officials with the Transportation Security Administration said they screened 1.7 million people through airport checkpoints nationwide on Christmas Eve.
The number was more than twice the 616,470 passengers screened through airports on the same day in 2020, but far below the 2.5 million travelers screened in 2019.
As of Saturday morning, airlines canceled nearly 890 flights and reported that almost 870 others were delayed, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.
Update 8:15 a.m. EST Dec. 25: As of Saturday morning, airlines had canceled more than 850 Christmas Day flights while over 420 others were delayed, according to a tally from flight tracking site FlightAware.
Delta Air Lines canceled just over 280 flights, amounting to 24% of its schedule, according to FlightAware. United Air Lines canceled nearly 240 flights while JetBlue Airways canceled 120 and American Airlines canceled 88.
Update 11:52 p.m. EST Dec. 24: Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines confirmed late Friday that flight cancellations will continue through the weekend after airlines across the country were forced to ground flights, WSB-TV reported.
According to the airline, as many as 200 additional flights may be canceled on Christmas Day, and another 150 Sunday are expected to be canceled. as well, the TV station reported.
Delta officials attributed the flight disruptions to a combination of the omicron variant of the coronavirus impacting staffing levels and inclement weather across certain regions of the country, WSB-TV reported.
Update 11:14 p.m. EST Dec. 24: By 11 p.m. Friday, 681 Christmas Eve flights had been canceled and more than 3,325 other have been delayed according to a tally from flight tracking site FlightAware.
Of those figures, nearly 380 JetBlue Airways flights were delayed, representing about 37% of the airline’s scheduled flights. The carrier also canceled 75 flights, according to FlightAware.
Meanwhile, United Airlines’ cancellations saw a slight uptick to 198, while delayed flights increased to 298, or roughly 15% of the carrier’s scheduled flights; American Airlines canceled only 23 flights but delayed 348 fights, or roughly 13% of its departures; and Delta Air Lines canceled 173 flights and delayed another another 204, according to FlightAware.
Update 7:02 p.m. EST Dec. 24: By 7 p.m. Friday, 655 Christmas Eve flights had been canceled and more than…