JFK Joins Newark Airport in Reopening After Sandy’s Flood

Sandy Ravages Airline Flight Schedules as Toll Rivals Blizzards’
A flight information terminal displays cancelled flights at LaGuardia Airport in New York. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty international airports will reopen tomorrow for limited flights as cleanup continues after Atlantic superstorm Sandy’s inundation of the runways.

Airlines will land planes at JFK starting at 10 p.m. today to prepare for the reopening, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey said in a statement. The agency warned passengers to confirm flights with their airlines before traveling to the airport.

“Carriers will be providing limited service,” at both airports, said the Port Authority, which operates all three major airports in metropolitan New York.

American Airlines, US Airways, United Continental Holdings Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. were among carriers erasing New York itineraries and scrubbing or greatly reducing service to cities including Washington, Philadelphia and Boston as the storm pummeled the eastern U.S. LaGuardia and Newark each had more than 1,200 cancellations, researcher FlightAware said.

LaGuardia Airport, located on Flushing Bay, and Teterboro remain closed, the Port Authority said. US Airways Group Inc. said earlier that its operations at LaGuardia, JFK and Newark would remain idled until at least noon on Thursday.

“Substantial” flooding occurred at New York’s Kennedy and LaGuardia airports and New Jersey’s Newark, Andrea Huguely, a spokeswoman for AMR Corp.’s American Airlines, said today.

Airlines pulled planes out of New York on Oct. 28 as Sandy barreled toward the region, allowing the carriers to keep jets, crews and passengers out of harm’s way.

Delta’s Plan

Delta said earlier that it hoped to restart “limited flying” at Kennedy tomorrow.

Airlines have scrubbed more than 7,000 flights today, according to Houston-based FlightAware. Cancellations for tomorrow already total 1,875, FlightAware said in a statement.

“We expect this number to rise before the NYC area airports reopen,” FlightAware said. Counting cancellations since Oct. 28, the tally of scrapped trips attributable to Sandy exceeds 18,100, FlightAware said.

Damage from Sandy “has been extensive, and there are significant power outages as well,” United Chief Executive Officer Jeff Smisek said in a letter to employees. The Chicago-based airline probably won’t be able to resume operations at its Newark hub until Nov. 1, he said.

“The runways at LaGuardia have been flooded, and there has been some facility damage at Newark that we are currently assessing,” he wrote.

High winds have also limited flights at Chicago’s O’Hare airport to just one runway, Smisek said. United has canceled 4,700 flights across 40 airports this week, he said.

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