(Adds global flight cancellations, statement from United
Airlines and Delta Air Lines, analyst comment; updates share
move and canceled flights in U.S.)
Dec 27 (Reuters) - Shares of U.S. airlines and other
travel-related companies fell on Monday as rising Omicron cases
and weather-related problems forced the cancellation of hundreds
more flights, leaving travelers stranded across the country
during the holidays.
Over 1,000 flights were canceled within, into, or out of the
United States on Monday, data from flight-tracking website
FlightAware.com showed. Globally, more than 2,600 flights were
That was on top of over 3,000 U.S. flight cancellations
during the Christmas holiday weekend, typically a peak time for
travel for Americans.
Shares of American Airlines Group Inc, United
Airlines Holdings Inc and Delta Air Lines Inc
were down about 1% in afternoon trade. Southwest Airlines Co's
shares recovered losses to trade about flat.
Most airline stocks have rallied this year on hopes of a
travel boom as travelers start visiting friends and family after
dealing with pandemic-related restrictions last year.
However, staff shortages at airlines, weather-related
disruptions and now the fast-spreading Omicron variant have
disrupted flights frequently this year.
As long as the Omicron variant continues to infect people
who are vaccinated and quarantine restrictions remain in place,
air travel is expected to be hit by staffing shortages, research
firm Third Bridge Group's Peter McNally said.
Southwest Airlines said it had canceled about 50 of the
3,600 flights scheduled Monday due to weather-related problems.
United Airlines said it had called off 115 of the 4,000 flights
that were scheduled, while Delta expects to cancel over 200 of
4,166 its scheduled flights.
American Airlines pointed to its statement on Saturday that
said the carrier had to cancel flights due to "COVID-related
Separately, the Shanghai government said on Monday that the
country's aviation regulator would suspend two China Eastern
Airlines Corp Ltd flights from New York to Shanghai
from Jan. 3 due to rising COVID-19 cases.
Other travel stocks also came under pressure as Omicron
triggers fears of tougher restrictions.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on
Monday it was investigating nearly 70 cruise ships after reports
of COVID-19 cases on board.
Carnival Corp said it had isolated a small number of
passengers on board its Carnival Freedom cruise ship due to
positive COVID-19 test results. All passengers from the cruise
trip disembarked on Sunday, and the ship departed Monday
afternoon on its next planned voyage, it added.
Shares of Carnival were down 1.1%, while its peers Norwegian
Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd
were down about 2%.
Travel firms Expedia Group Inc and Tripadvisor Inc
fell between 1% and 1.6%.
Vacation rental firm Airbnb Inc, hotel operators
Marriott International Inc and Hilton Worldwide Holdings
Inc all recovered losses to trade about flat in the
(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair and Abhijith Ganapavaram in
Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Ananya Mariam Rajesh; Editing
by Anil D'Silva and Maju Samuel)