United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL:US) and AMR Corp.’s American Airlines (AAMRQ:US) suspended most flights to and from the New York area tomorrow and into the next day as a winter storm approached the northeast U.S.
About 500 flights will be scrubbed as United pares service at its hub at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty airport for 24 hours at midday, said Charles Hobart, a spokesman. American and its American Eagle unit cut 290 flights, with a New York pullback at 3 p.m., according to an e-mailed statement late today.
Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL:US) also expects to scrap some flights, and Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV:US) and US Airways Group Inc. (LCC:US) are monitoring the new storm, spokesmen said. The new storm is threatening the U.S. northeast after Hurricane Sandy forced about 20,000 cancellations last week.
Gusts as intense as 60 miles (97 kilometers) per hour may sweep across New York and New Jersey tomorrow as the next system arrives, according to the National Weather Service. Flooding along the coast is expected from Delaware north to Connecticut, including New Jersey and Long Island, where tides may rise as much as 3 feet (1 meter) above normal.
United is retaining long-haul international service and flights to other hubs from Newark while halting other operations there and at New York’s LaGuardia and Kennedy airports, according to a statement.
American plans to start restoring flights on Nov. 8, according to the statement. Its pullback includes a suspension of service in Philadelphia at midday tomorrow.
No tally of Delta’s projected cancellations is available yet, said Morgan Durrant, a spokesman. The Atlanta-based airline is waiving rebooking fees for passengers flying to and from the New York-area airports and Philadelphia today through Nov. 8.
JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU:US) offered a similar waiver covering New York City-area airports and Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, New York; Washington; Hartford, Connecticut; Richmond, Virginia; Boston, and Burlington, Vermont.
US Airways is “closely monitoring” the situation, a spokesman, Todd Lehmacher, said by phone. Southwest is tracking the storm and hasn’t made any decisions regarding delays or cancellations, said a spokeswoman, Katie McDonald.
About 240 flights had been scrapped at North American airports tomorrow as of 5:30 p.m. New York time, industry data tracker FlightStats Inc. said in a statement. United’s Hobart said by e-mail that the canceled flights are about 5 percent of the total in the 24-hour span covered by the suspension.
Disruptions from Sandy cost major airlines as much as $45 million each, according to Dan McKenzie, a Buckingham Research Group analyst in New York. That storm lashed the New York region, the biggest aviation market, and shut the area’s three major airports for most of last week.
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