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Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.

Over 6,000 Flights Canceled Over Christmas Weekend Globally as Omicron Gains Strength - Reports

© REUTERS / JEENAH MOONA screen showing cancelled flights is seen at John F. Kennedy International Airport during the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Queens, New York City, U.S., December 26, 2021.
A screen showing cancelled flights is seen at John F. Kennedy International Airport during the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Queens, New York City, U.S., December 26, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.12.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Hundreds of flights were canceled globally over the Christmas weekend, due to the spread of the Omicron strain of the coronavirus amid airline workers.
More than 6,000 flights around the world have been canceled over the Christmas weekend amid the COVID-19 surge and staff shortages, CNN reported.
According to FlightAware, which provides aviation data, 2,513 flights were canceled on Sunday only, 927 of them in the United States.
On Saturday, over 2,850 flights were canceled around the world, nearly 1,000 of them in the US. Hundreds of flights were also canceled on Christmas Eve, ruining people’s plans to spend Christmas with their relatives.
Aircraft of German Lufthansa airline are parked at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, May 4, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.12.2021
Omicron COVID Strain
Christmas is Cancelled: Omicron Prompts Airlines to Call Off Thousands of Flights
China Eastern accounted for the largest share of canceled flights, followed by Delta, Air China, and United Airlines, who have been grappling with staffing problems after many workers called in sick.
Representatives of several airlines, including United, JetBlue and Delta told The New York Times on Sunday that flights were being canceled over concerns of Omicron infections among staff.

"Delta teams have exhausted all options and resources — including rerouting and substitutions of aircraft and crews to cover scheduled flying — before canceling around 90 flights for Friday," the company told Nexstar.

A Delta spokeswoman also told The NYT that the airline expected to cancel at least 40 flights on Monday.
Many American airlines called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to shorten the quarantine period for fully vaccinated people to overcome the issue as the Omicron spread significantly affects companies' activities.
Meanwhile, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA reportedly wrote to the CDC on Thursday demanding that the 10-day isolation period for staff remain in place.
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