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Eastern snowstorm causes mass US flight cancellations

written by Isabella Richards | January 31, 2022

Boeing 737 Max aircraft of United Airlines and American Airlines. (Drew Angerer/Getty and Philip Pilosian/Shutterstock.com)

A major snowstorm that hit the eastern states of America over the weekend has caused mass flight delays across multiple airlines.

Parts of the east coast were hit by a blizzard-like storm called a nor’easter, which plunged several states such as New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island and Virginia into an emergency.

In the US, over 2,700 flights were delayed on Sunday and over 1,500 were cancelled according to FlightAware, as the National Weather Service (NSW) urged residents to avoid travel and stay home.

Twenty-seven per cent of low-cost carrier JetBlue’s flights were cancelled, which is headquartered in New York and its main hub is at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which was impacted the most, alongside Boston Logan International Airport.

Seven per cent of Delta Air Lines flights were cancelled, and six per cent of American Airlines flights were cancelled.

“We’re working as quickly as possible to assist customers affected by the winter storm. If you need help, many trips are also eligible to change online. Stay warm, everyone!” said American in a Tweet.

Southwest Airlines only saw 3 per cent of its flights get cancelled, and United Airlines reported 4 per cent of cancellations due their western and central locations which were less impacted by the storm.


Some areas of Massachusetts saw as much as 75 centimetres of snow, with Boston residents reporting 60 centimetres of snow, according to BBC News.

The NWS confirmed on Saturday the storm had undergone bombogenesis, which means cold and warm sea air mix together to create a severe drop in atmospheric pressure.

The storm marks the latest blow to the aviation industry, as airlines continue to mitigate the pressures of the Omicron variant on operations.

In October 2021, Southwest Airlines announced the 2,000 flight cancellations the company had to make due to weather and limited staffing cost US$75 million.

Throughout the year, airlines such as American and United also faced several cancellations due to staffing shortages as a result of the pandemic.


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