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Delta (DAL) Cancels Hundreds of Holiday Flights on Omicron Woes

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Delta Air Lines (DAL - Free Report) continues to grapple with flight cancellations for the fourth day in a row as bad weather conditions and spike in COVID-19 cases induced by the Omicron variant hurt its operations.

Having already canceled several flights since Christmas Eve, DAL canceled more yet again on Monday out of its 4,166 scheduled mainline and Delta Connection flights. The company attributed the cancellations to a combination of issues, including “but not limited to” severe winter weather conditions, particularly at its hubs in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Seattle, WA and Salt Lake City, UT as well as the impact of the Omicron variant.

On the same grounds, Delta, carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), had canceled 374 of 4,155 scheduled mainline and connection flights on Sunday. The airline is trying to help the affected passengers by either rerouting and substituting aircraft and crews, or accommodating them in the next available flight. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The flight cancellations are not just restricted to Delta. As COVID-19 infections affect airline staff and inclement weather conditions in parts of the United States disrupt travel, other U.S. carriers, including United Airlines (UAL - Free Report) and JetBlue Airways (JBLU - Free Report) , are also canceling dozens of flights. While United Airlines carries a Zacks Rank #3, JetBlue carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

According to flight-tracking site FlightAware, United Airlines canceled about 4% of its schedule on Monday, while JetBlue canceled around 7%.

Per a CNBC report, United Airlines’ senior vice president of flight operations, Bryan Quigley, wrote in a message to pilots, “Our current pilot Covid-19 case count is on the rise.” Quigley added, “Pilots who have developed symptoms are also in quarantine and we have a high number of pilots on the sick list.”

Similar to United Airlines, JetBlue has lately been seeing an increasing number of its staff getting affected from COVID-19. JBLU said that additional flight cancellations could occur as Omicron cases spread.


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