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.
    Reuters
    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

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    What Your First Name Says About Who You Support for President

    Bobby, Betty and Curtis tend to support Donald Trump while people named Juan, Liz or Mohammad are more likely to lean toward Hillary Clinton

    South Pole Diary: In Round-the-clock Darkness, Radiant Moon Shines Like the Sun

    You hear more and see more when the moon first comes out; it’s your senses in overdrive, tuning into a new world.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora