A family walks through Terminal A at Orlando International Airport on Christmas Day. AP
Severe weather is compounding the travel chaos in the United States, with storms expected to wreak havoc on roadways in the country's west, though they brought a white Christmas weekend to Seattle and parts of California.
According to Flightaware.com, more than 2,000 flights were cancelled on Sunday — including more than 570 originating from, or headed to, US airports. More than 4,000 delays were reported.
Aircrew and ground staff have fallen sick or gone into quarantine after exposure to Covid, forcing Lufthansa, Delta, United Airlines, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines and other carriers to cancel flights during a peak travel period.
More than 2,800 flights were scrubbed around the globe on Saturday, including more than 990 originating from or headed to US airports, with over 8,500 delays. On Friday, there were around 2,400 cancellations and 11,000 delays.
"Help @united flight cancelled again. I want to get home for Christmas," one exasperated traveler from the US state of Vermont tweeted early Saturday.
Flightaware data showed United canceled around 200 flights on Friday and nearly 250 Saturday — about 10 percent of those that were scheduled.
"The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation," United said in a statement Friday.
Delta scrapped 310 flights Saturday and over 100 more Sunday, saying it has "exhausted all options and resources." "We apologise to our customers for the delay in their holiday travel plans," the company said.
The cancellations added to the frustration for many people eager to reunite with their families over the holidays after last year's Christmas was severely curtailed.
Chinese airlines accounted for the highest number of cancellations, with China Eastern scrapping more than 1,000 flights, over 20 percent of its flight plan, on Friday and Saturday — and Air China grounding about 20 percent of its scheduled departures over the period.
The American Automobile Association estimated more than 109 million Americans would travel by plane, train or automobile between December 23 and January 2, a 34 percent increase over the last year.
But most of those plans were made before the detection of Omicron, which has become the dominant strain in the United States, overwhelming hospitals and healthcare workers.
The state of New York reported a record 44,431 new daily positive Covid tests on Friday, as new cases surged nationwide.
As unseasonably warm temperatures were bathing eastern states, the National Weather Service announced winter storm warnings, including a deep freeze, for significant parts of the west.
"Anomalously cold conditions and a barrage of Pacific moisture results in prolonged periods of mountain snow and coastal/valley rain, some of which may fall heavy at times," the NWS said.
An eye-popping two to four feet (61 to 122 centimetres) of snow was forecast to fall this weekend in the Sierra mountains and state of Oregon.
Travel will be "treacherous to at times impossible" from the Sierras to the central Rocky Mountains at the weekend due to whiteout snow conditions, the NWS said.
All the passengers detected as positive in RAT on arrival at the airports will self isolate themselves for 10 days at their homes, decides the Pakistan's National Command and Operation Centre.
"Surveys of air passengers indicate that pre-departure testing is a leading factor in the decision not to travel internationally. People simply are unwilling to take the chance that they will be unable to return to the US," they wrote.
"Above all we are missing passengers in our home markets of Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium, because these countries have been hit hardest by the pandemic wave," CEO Carsten Spohr said.
Kuwait has suspended all flights from India until further notice, Bahrain has updated International arrival procedures for passengers from India. Germany is sharply restricting travel from India and Iran has banned all flights to and from India and Pakistan.
We have given them a deadline to willingly return to their countries and if they don’t, all law enforcement agencies of the state and provinces will deport them, says interior minister
The father died on Tuesday as a result of his injuries in the wedding hall fire in Al-Hamdaniya, Nineveh Governorate, northern Iraq.
SEHA has identified 3 types of medical test in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, with fees ranging from Dhs250 to Dhs500. They are normal test, the rapid test and the special test.