Omicron Variant Starts to Hit Travel, Business Flights and Events

Airlines are warning of lower bookings, executives in Europe are tweaking business travel plans and a handful of organizations have canceled or downscaled events across the continent amid new government-mandated restrictions and uncertainty over the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

EasyJet PLC, one of Europe’s largest and the first major airline to report financial performance since the identification last week of the new variant, said it was seeing some softening in bookings as customers defer flights. Chief Executive Johan Lundgren said in a conference call to discuss earnings that the discounter is seeing customers pushing back flights and holidays instead of outright cancellations. “When they are taking action, they are rebooking to the early part of next year,” he said.