Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled around the world this weekend as holiday travel plans were put on hold amid the fast-spreading Omicron version of Novel Coronavirus.

According to flight tracker FlightAware, about 2,800 global flights were canceled on Christmas Day alone, with some airline companies citing the spread of the new variant as the reason for the disruption. About 1,000 flights canceled on Saturday were scheduled to fly into or out of the United States.

Thousands of travellers hoping to make it home for Christmas were likely left stranded, while extreme weather created further complications in parts of the country.

However, the heaviest snowfall is expected to subside in the northern and central Sierras, with 2 to 4 feet of snow expected.

Major airlines said they were forced to cancel hundreds of flights on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day after Omicron type infected employees and crew members. United said some of its 210 cancellations on Saturday were the result of close contact situations.

It comes as thousands across the US were expected to skip this Christmas after testing positive for Covid-19, while many others have postponed their celebration plans due to rising cases amid the spread of the highly-contagious version. cancelled, delayed or changed.

On Christmas Eve alone, more than 197,300 new Covid cases were reported, according to a tracker maintained by The New York Times, which noted that many states did not report the day's data.


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