An airline crew waits to be tested for COVID-19 upon arriving from Australia at Los Angeles International Airport Thursday. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Nearly 3,000 airline flights were canceled and 11,000 more delayed Monday as the world's airlines continued to grapple with the surging Omicron variant and adverse winter weather.
Some 2,824 flights were canceled globally as of late afternoon on Monday, including 1,144 flights within, into, or out of the United States, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.
Another 10,966 flights were delayed as travel disruptions persisted following a rough Christmas holiday period. More than 3,000 flights were canceled Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as flight crews, attendants and other airline employees called in sick due to Omicron.
Delta Airlines said "a perfect storm" of winter weather -- particularly at its hubs in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Seattle and Salt Lake City -- and the Omicron surge continued to hamper its operations Monday.
The airline expected that about 200 of 4,166 scheduled mainline and Delta Connection flights would be canceled after 374 of 4,155 scheduled flights were scrubbed on Sunday.
"Canceling a flight is always Delta's last resort," airline operations chief John Laughter said in a statement. "The result is not only difficult for customers, but for our people who want nothing more than to take care of them -- especially over the holidays. We sincerely apologize to everyone impacted."
Alaska Airlines announced dozens of new cancellations Monday.
"Snow and wintery conditions significantly impacted on our operations over the weekend, resulting in ground delays and ground stops on Sunday, Dec. 26, affecting nearly 250 flights to and from Seattle," the airline said, adding that more than 120 further cancellations were coming on Monday.
"We sincerely apologize to our guests who are impacted by this and understand how incredibly frustrating it is when travel doesn't go as planned."
Seattle endured a record-low temperature of 20 degrees Sunday after 6 inches of snow blanketed the city.