Search on MTL Blog

Omicron Is Causing Airlines To Cancel Holiday Flights But YUL's In Good Shape

Numerous airlines around the world have cancelled dozens — if not hundreds — of flights.

Contributing Writer
Omicron Is Causing Airlines To Cancel Holiday Flights But YUL's In Good Shape

COVID-19 tests, vaccine passports and masks aren't the only things making travel more difficult over the holidays this year. Multiple airlines around the world have cancelled dozens — if not hundreds — of flights this week, leaving thousands of people grounded, as Omicron cases surge.

These airlines include Lufthansa, Delta, United, Qantas and Jetstar.

"We planned a very large buffer for the vacation period. But this was not sufficient due to the high rate of people calling in sick," said Lufthansa in a statement shared with Narcity.

The German-based airline didn't specifically name Omicron, but other airlines have blamed the variant for forcing them to cancel flights.

"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 told Narcity in a statement. "As a result, we've unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport."

According to FlightAware, United cancelled 201 flights on December 24 and more than 230 flights on Christmas Day. Delta cancelled 173 flights on December 24 and 301 flights on December 25. Between the two airlines over two days, that's a total of at least 900 flights.

Delta told ABC News this happened because its teams had "exhausted all options and resources -- including rerouting and substitutions of aircraft and crews to cover scheduled flying — before cancelling around 90 flights for Friday."

"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," said Delta in its statement to ABC.

Overall, FlightAware shows a total of 2,380 flight cancellations on December 24 and 2,586 cancellations on December 25. The airline with the most reported Christmas Day cancellations is China Eastern with 545 cancelled flights.

Austalia's 7 News reported that Jetstar cancelled dozens of flights on Christmas Eve because "frontline staff have needed to get tested and isolate as close contacts."

Three cancelled flights at YUL

So far, however, if you're travelling out of the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport aka YUL, you'll very likely be able to take off. Whether or not you can arrive at your destination depends on where you're transferring.

Only three Christmas Day flights are currently cancelled at YUL: two Air Canada flights to New York (LaGuardia) at 1:25 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. as well as a British Airways flight to London (Heathrow) at 9 p.m.

It's not clear why these particular flights were cancelled.

At the time this was published, there were no cancellations scheduled for December 26.

YUL advises travellers to arrive at the airport three hours before their flight.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.

Recommended For You