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Airlines Cancel Flights Due to COVID Staffing Shortages

A Lufthansa flight arrives from Munich, Germany at Miami International Airport, on Nov. 8, 2021, in Miami. Three major airlines have reported canceling dozens of flights as illnesses largely tied to the omicron variant of COVID-19 take a toll on flight crew numbers during the busy holiday travel season. Germany-based Lufthansa said Friday, Dec. 24, 2021  that it was canceling a dozen long-haul transatlantic flights over the Christmas holiday period because of a “massive rise” in sick leave among pilots. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
A Lufthansa flight arrives from Munich, Germany at Miami International Airport, on Nov. 8, 2021, in Miami. Three major airlines have reported canceling dozens of flights as illnesses largely tied to the omicron variant of COVID-19 take a toll on flight crew numbers during the busy holiday travel season. Germany-based Lufthansa said Friday, Dec. 24, 2021 that it was canceling a dozen long-haul transatlantic flights over the Christmas holiday period because of a “massive rise” in sick leave among pilots. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
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New York (AP) -- Airlines canceled hundreds of flights as the omicron variant jumbled schedules and drew down staffing levels at some carriers during the busy holiday travel season.

Delta Air Lines and United Airlines together canceled more than 600 flights on Friday and Saturday. As of early evening Friday, Delta canceled had 149 flights on Friday and 188 for Christmas Day, according to FlightAware. (Other factors, such as weather, are also causing cancellations.) United called off 189 flights on Friday, about 10% of its schedule, and 140 on Saturday. Planned cancellations continued into Sunday.