Helena Regional Airport sees few delays amid nationwide flight cancellations

Nolan Lister

Despite widespread flight cancellations across the country during the holiday travel season, Helena Regional Airport Assistant Director Ross Marty said it “hasn’t hit too close to home yet.”

The Associated Press reported Monday that airlines called off more than 1,000 U.S. flights because crews were sick with COVID-19 during one of the year’s busiest travel periods, and storm fronts added to the havoc.

As reported by the AP, flight delays and cancellations tied to staffing shortages have been common this year. Airlines encouraged workers to quit in 2020, when air travel collapsed, and carriers have struggled to make up ground this year, when air travel rebounded faster than expected. The arrival of the omicron variant only exacerbated the problem.

But Marty said Helena’s airport has yet to cancel any flights and that the three major airlines that service the regional airport — Alaska, Delta and United — have not experienced the same level of shortages as others.

The recent storm fronts that dumped feet of snow and rain across Western states did force delays of some flights departing Helena for hub airports, such as Seattle-Tacoma International, Salt Lake City International and Denver International airports.

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