OREANDA-NEWS. More than 3,600 flights worldwide have been cancelled due to inclement weather and the spread of the Omicron coronavirus strain, Reuters reported, citing FlightAware, a flight-tracking website.

More than 2,100 flights to the USA were among the flights cancelled on 2 January. Also, more than 6,400 flights were delayed, the agency writes.

According to FlightAware, the American airlines SkyWest and Southwest had the greatest number of flight cancellations, each having over 400 flights.

The Christmas and New Year holidays are usually a peak time for air travel, but the rapid spread of the omicron strain has forced airlines to cancel some flights to protect pilots and crew members, the agency said.

US airline Delta Air Lines announced on 30 December that it would cancel 200-300 flights over the weekend (1 and 2 January) due to deteriorating weather conditions and the spread of the omicron strain.

German airline Lufthansa and US-based Delta Air Lines and United Airlines cancelled about 200 international and domestic flights before Christmas on December 25 due to employee sickness caused by the spread of the Omicron strain.

Delta Air Lines confirmed to the Associated Press that the flight cancellations were directly linked to the spread of Omicron among employees, while Lufthansa pointed out that it had recorded a "massive increase" in sick leave among pilots.

On the same day, more than 50 flights were delayed and cancelled at Moscow airports due to bad weather. At the time, the airports said they were operating normally, but warned of possible adjustments in departure times.

On New Year's Eve, December 31, 155 flights were canceled in Moscow, 51 flights were delayed. In Sheremetyevo assured that the cancellation of a number of flights was due to the low load by the decision of the airlines.

In the afternoon of January 2, Bolshoye Savino Airport in Perm was temporarily closed for the arrival and departure of aircraft due to heavy snowfall and the need to clear the airfield.