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The Omicron Variant Is Chipping Away At Worldwide Air Travel

Just as global air traffic appeared to be getting closer to pre-pandemic levels, the omicron variant has grounded planes once more, stalling the recovery.

Commercial flights were back within 15% of comparable 2019 levels in the first days of December, according to data from FlightRadar24. That was before countries around the world responded to the emergence of the new coronavirus strain by imposing more restrictions on travelers. By the end of the first week, flight numbers were back to more than 18% below those seen during the same period in 2019.