The devastating storm being blamed for dozens of deaths, widespread power outages and destruction in the Northeast has grounded thousands of flights and stranded travelers. But two major airlines say things will gradually return to normal beginning Wednesday afternoon.
Hurricane Sandy’s path forced Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines to cancel about 3,000 flights since Sunday night.
But the carrier said Tuesday afternoon it has resumed flights to most East Coast airports, other than New York’s John F. Kennedy International, La Guardia and Newark Liberty airports. Flights at those three airports are expected to resume beginning Wednesday afternoon, a Delta spokeswoman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an emailed statement.
Southwest Airlines said it has canceled nearly 1,300 flights from Sunday evening through mid-day Wednesday, and its subsidiary AirTran has canceled nearly 400 flights over that time period. AirTran is the second-largest carrier in Atlanta.
Dallas-based Southwest expects to resume normal operations by mid-day Wednesday across most of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, except for at New York and New Jersey area airports.
Delta, which has a hub at JFK and is building a domestic hub at La Guardia, said it plans to resume some domestic flights at JFK on Wednesday afternoon. It also plans to restart a limited flight schedule to New York’s LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports Wednesday evening, in order to restart operations from those airports Thursday morning.
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport spokesman Myrna White said there were 90 flight cancellations Tuesday, after 293 canceled flights Monday. White said the airport had blankets and amenity kits for any passengers who need them, but added that airlines are able to do a better job of notifying passengers of canceled flights in advance, decreasing the number of passengers stranded at the airport.
—Staff reporter Kelly Yamanouchi contributed to this report.
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