John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty Airports reopened for limited flight service as Hurricane Sandy has eased, allowing air traffic to return to one of the world’s busiest aviation markets.
More than 18,000 flights were grounded, cutting off access to the Atlantic until the reopening of JFK and Newark, although New York’s LaGuardia and New Jersey’s Teterboro remain closed to asses damages, the Associated Pressreports.
The four airports closed on October, 29 as Hurricane Sandy devastated the region.
JFK and Newark serve as major hubs for international travel and coast-to-coast flights in the country, Bloombergreports. Limited service began at 7 am, eastern time, spokesman for the Port Authority of New York New Jersey, Ron Marsico said.
Slowly, flights have resumed in other major airports, like Washington’s Dulles and Boston’s Logan Airport. Air France will likely resume flights between Paris and JFK, as well as Paris to Dulles on Wednesday.
Specific airlines said that although others have began flying from JFK and Newark, others are not ready to resume flights as of today, like US Airways spokesman, Todd Lehmacher said:
“We want to caution that this is still far from definitive as a lot of clean-up work remains at these airports and engineering inspections must be completed.”
The number of flight cancellations have obviously decreased at JFK and Newark, but only by about one-fourth of yesterday’s cancellations.
Hurricane Sandy combined with a cold-weather system, hit the eastern coastline with 80 MPH winds, ravaging the region and leaving at least three dozen people dead in the US.
In the past, airlines would have operated many of the flights, but the possible consequences of doing so could have made getting back into the air even more difficult, said Center for Air Transportation Systems Research director at George Mason University, Lance Sherry:
“It’s kind of like dominoes – when one aircraft is out of place, it means the flight crew is out of place, and that has a ripple effect throughout the rest of the day.”
Despite JFK and Newark reopening, it is expected that it will take airlines a considerable time before they are able to fly again.