News / USA

JetBlue, Other US Airlines Cancel Flights Due to Cold

A JetBlue airplane taxis to a gate at Boston's Logan Airport, Jan. 6, 2014.
A JetBlue airplane taxis to a gate at Boston's Logan Airport, Jan. 6, 2014.
JetBlue Airways said it planned to suspend flights at New York and Boston airports later on Monday, and gradually resume them on Tuesday, as extreme cold hobbled airline operations in the U.S. Midwest and Northeast regions.
Temperatures below zero in the U.S. Midwest were making it difficult for airlines to fuel planes and posing exposure hazards for ramp employees.
The brunt of the impact was felt in areas such as Chicago, Minneapolis and Cleveland. More than 1,600 flights were canceled at Chicago O'Hare, an airport that typically has 2,400 daily flights.
“Even though there is not a lot of precipitation falling, extreme cold weather can severely impact operations,” Andrea Huguely, a spokeswoman for American Airlines Group, said in an email.
American and American Eagle canceled more than 500 flights on Monday, roughly 14 percent of its typical daily flights of 3,500. At Chicago O'Hare, American had “minimal operations” and canceled nearly 380 flights, including American Eagle flights.
“The problem we - and other carriers - faced very early is the fueling pumper trucks wouldn't work,” said American spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan. “Parts were frozen.  Fuel nozzles were also frozen and had to be taken to a hangar to thaw out. It's slow going.”
Southwest Airlines suspended flights at Chicago Midway airport on Monday, also citing fueling problems. United Continental Holdings canceled 460 flights at O'Hare, including 380 on regional carriers.
JetBlue said halting its flights at John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and Boston Logan airports would allow time to melt ice from its planes, position flight crews and take other steps to recover from snow storms that recently struck the Midwest and parts of the Northeast.
“It's a combination of everything that has had a domino effect the last few days,” JetBlue spokesman Anders Lindstrom said. “As one of the largest carriers in the Northeast, weather in this area impacts our entire route network and operations.”
Winter and accompanying storms are a major issue for U.S. airlines in the first quarter. Airlines typically will proactively cancel flights during a major storm to minimize disruptions.
David Fintzen, an airline analyst with Barclays, said it was too soon to comment on financial impact from the flight cancelations tied to the recent bad weather.
“Only thing I would say is that with U.S. airlines in much stronger financial positions and investors increasingly focused on the bigger industry picture, severe weather in any one quarter is increasingly looked through by the markets,” Fintzen said in a statement to Reuters.
“Moreover, short-term weather impact is disruptive to passengers but financially is a minor factor for earnings versus trends in the overall economy or fuel prices,” Fintzen added.
Delta Air Lines, which has major operations in Minneapolis and the New York area, said it had 400 cancelations across the Delta and Delta connection networks, out of a systemwide total of more than 5,000 daily flights.
“We're treating today as a recovery day and things look better for tomorrow,” Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant said.
Shares of JetBlue were down 4 percent at $8.68 on Monday as most U.S. airlines traded weaker. Southwest shares were off 1.4 percent at $19.15. Delta was up 0.2 percent at $29.29 in afternoon trading, while American Airlines gained 1.5 percent to $26.95.

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs