Source: Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images
Air travel is kind of a mess currently.
There are 2 big causes:
- Bad weather
- Staffing shortages due to COVID-19
Thanks to the omicron variant, the US broke its record for average new cases last week at 355k+ infections per day, per CNN.
The cancellations are affecting airline stocks
While the S&P 500 Airlines Index improved in early 2021, the sector took a hit with the delta and omicron variants. Since Oct. 1, it’s dropped ~18%, per Fortune.
After Christmas weekend — during which 2.8k+ US flights were canceled — United Airlines and Delta Air Lines both fell 0.7%, while American Airlines dipped 0.9%.
There’s also been some controversy
Walensky told NPR the decision was, in part, to keep society’s “critical functions” — like airlines — in operation.
She also noted that while the virus is typically passed on in the 1st days of infection, masking is essential on days 5 through 10.
BTW: Having travel FOMO? You could always check out FlightAware’s Misery Map, which visualizes cancellations and delays.
Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox
Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less