Omicron variant causing flight crew shortages: how it affects Augusta Regional Airport


AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- The surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron Variant is causing thousands of flight delays and cancellations nationwide.

Officials at Augusta Regional Airport say crew shortages have been a problem for a while, but the pandemic has made it worse.

“And obviously right now with the current variant we’ve had, throughout the country, we’ve had flight crews that have been impacted by positive cases,” said Herbert Judon, Executive Director at Augusta Regional Airport.

Judon said the airport hasn’t really been impacted by the delays and cancellations. Aside from one cancellation the week before Christmas, everything has run smoothly.

However, he said passengers need to keep up with what is going on with their connecting flights.

“If we see cancellations we will communicate it locally via our website and social media. But we also urge customers, passengers, to stay abreast of what’s going on,” Judon explained. “You mentioned Flight Aware. They can check Flight Aware, they can check their airline websites, the apps for the airlines.”

He also said airline travel has made a much quicker comeback than expected causing a strain on the industry.

“I would say that the airline industry is fragile because of everything that has gone on in the last couple of years.”

Because of the stress of delays and cancellations along with aggressive beliefs on masking, there has been a rise in unruly behavior from passengers. Judon asks for understanding from people who are flying.

“Everything’s a little bit out of whack and it’s important for people to ‘pack their patience’ and be a part of the solution with the airlines,” he said.

You can track your flight using the Flight Aware website. It’s also an app available in both the App Store and Google Play.

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