SIMPLE FLYING — Severe winter weather has once again caused mass disruption at airports across North America. More than 1,150 flights were canceled, and thousands more were delayed on March 14th, as the Northeast US was battered by heavy snowfall and strong winds.
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) suffered more than 300 cancelations of departing and arriving flights. There were over 150 cancelations at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), and more than 100 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). More than 4,700 flights were also delayed, adding to the misery for passengers across the region.
According to data published by FlightAware, Republic Airways was the most affected airline, with 289 cancelations and 251 delays - 26% and 22% of planned flights, respectively. The regional carrier operates flights on behalf of American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express with its fleet of Embraer E170 and Embraer E175 aircraft.
Endeavor Air, which operates exclusively on behalf of parent company Delta Air Lines, was just a little behind, with 22% of its flights canceled yesterday and 24% delayed. With such a significant presence in the affected area, it is no surprise that these two carriers were most impacted. Southwest Airlines canceled 2% of its flights, and 21% were delayed. Due to the enormous scale of the low-cost carrier's operation, these figures represented 119 and 866 flights, respectively.
In response to the disruption, carriers, including American Airlines, United Airlines, and JetBlue, have been allowing passengers to reschedule free of charge. Meanwhile, airports across the region issued travel warnings, advising passengers to check the status of their flights.
As much as two inches of snow fell per hour in parts of the Northeast US on Tuesday, leading to closed schools, power outages, and mass travel disruption. Almost 300,000 homes and businesses in the region were left without power.
At Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR), an Airbus A220-100 belonging to Delta Air Lines veered off the taxiway due to the snowy conditions. At the time, the carrier responded by saying, "This was not an airplane skidding off a runway. There are no reported injuries, and nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and people."
Weather-related disruption has been a regular fixture across much of North America this winter. Earlier this month, severe winter weather affected travel throughout the West Coast. Flights around the peak Christmas and New Year travel periods were also heavily impacted by snowstorms in one of the most significant mass disruption events of recent years.