Hurricane Irene: Thousands of flights canceled
Delta Airlines Inc. said it will ground 1,300 flights Saturday through Monday.
JetBlue announced the cancellation of 891 flights from its East Coast airports on Sunday and Monday, The carrier, operating major hubs at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Logan International Airport in Boston, said it also was evaluating flight plans for Saturday, waiting to determine the storm's path.
US Airways Group Inc., meanwhile, said it will cancel a “significant” number of flights at Washington-area airports beginning Saturday night into Sunday. Southwest Airlines announced plans to temporarily suspend service to and from Norfolk International Airport in Virginia on Saturday, with service resuming once conditions improve. The airline did not say how many flights would be suspended.
And American Airlines said it had already canceled 265 flights from airports in New York, Washington, Virginia and North Carolina. “We don't want to pull the trigger on these flights too quickly,” said Tim Smith, a spokesman for American Airlines.
View Hurricane Irene track forecast in a larger map
Irene is advancing toward the nation’s busiest airspace. Several major airports lie in its projected path, and some were bringing on extra staff to cope with the anticipated storm.
Airline officials said they may be forced to cancel additional flights in the coming days, causing a ripple through the country's air travel system. “Starting today, they are adjusting schedules based on the forecast,” said Steve Lott, a spokesman for the Air Transport Assn., the trade group for the nation's largest airlines.
-- Hugo Martin
Photo: Sanjay Roy, of Miami, checks the departure board as flights at Miami International Airport are canceled because of Hurricane Irene. Credit: Miami Herald/MCT.