by Harry Wilmerding

Over 2,000 international flights on Friday have been canceled due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, multiple sources reported.

The number of canceled international flights on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day reached over 3,000 as of Friday, according to the airline data website Flight Aware. Delta and United Airlines canceled hundreds of flights as Omicron variant cases spread among employees.

“The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation,” United Airlines said in a statement obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. “As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport.”

United canceled over 170 flights on Friday along with nearly 70 that were scheduled to depart Saturday, according to Flight Aware. Delta canceled over 130 flights Friday, around 6% of its schedule, citing bad weather at its hubs in Salt Lake City and Seattle along with increased COVID-19 cases, CNBC reported.

“Delta teams have exhausted all options and resources — including rerouting and substitutions on aircraft and crews to cover schedule flying — before canceling around 90 flights for Friday,” the airline said in a statement published by CNBC on Thursday.

“We apologize to our customers for the delay in their holiday travel plans. Delta people are working hard to get them to where they need to be as quickly and as safely as possible on the next available flight,” the statement said, CNBC reported.

Delta did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Over 90% of Delta workers and more than 96% of United employees have been vaccinated, the airlines said, CNBC reported.

The U.S. recorded over 186,000 daily COVID-19 cases as of Thursday, marking a 55% increase from two weeks ago, according to The New York Times’ COVID-19 tracker.

The Omicron variant accounted for over 70%  of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. during the week from Dec. 12-18, making it the dominant strain of the virus in the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

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