Christmas Cancellations Mark Setback for Airlines After Smoother Thanksgiving
Flight cancellations marred Christmas weekend for many travelers, as Covid-19 left carriers short-staffed to operate busy schedules over the holiday. In the U.S., canceled flights mounted through the weekend and involved many airlines. The disruptions came suddenly as a ramp-up in employee absences caught carriers off guard. The industry for months had been adjusting to labor shortages amid high customer demand, and because of measures such as incentive pay and scaled-back schedules had gotten through Thanksgiving largely without problems. Delta Air Lines Inc., which pointed to the new variant as well as winter weather as problematic, said midday that it had canceled about 161 of the 4,155 flights it had planned to operate Sunday, with around 40 more cancellations forecast for the day, a smaller number than it had initially expected to scrap. Delta canceled 375 flights on Christmas Day and more than 200 on Christmas Eve, the airline said.