Airline flight cancellations disrupted the start of another U.S. work week as a winter storm brought fresh snow to the Midwest and headed toward the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states.
The tally for today’s President’s Day holiday was about 1,300, along with about 3,700 delays, industry data provider FlightAware said on its website at 6:30 p.m. New York time. Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports lost the most flights.
East Coast airports including the New York area’s three hubs are in the path of the storm tomorrow, putting carriers including American Airlines Group Inc., United Continental Holdings Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. on alert for possible cancellations to ensure planes aren’t trapped by snow. About 220 U.S. flights have already been scrapped for Feb. 18.
Airlines had to scrap more than 7,500 flights on Feb. 13, a higher toll than anything experienced during 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, when a storm walloped the region a day after smacking the Southeast. That one-two punch meant that Delta was still untangling its Atlanta hub as snow fell from Virginia to Maine.
Last week’s storm helped damp investor sentiment, Hunter Keay, a New York-based analyst at Wolfe Research, told clients in a Feb. 14 note. The nine-carrier Bloomberg U.S. Airlines Index fell 0.5 percent for the week, paring its 2014 gain to 12 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is down 0.5 percent.
MasFlight, an industry data provider, estimated that more than 98,000 U.S. flights had been scrubbed through last week since Dec. 1.
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