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Airlines scrap 1,400 US flights as storm threatens Northeast
[NEW YORK] Airlines scrapped more than 1,400 US flights ahead of a blizzard that the National Weather Service said may dump as much as 3 feet of snow on northern New Jersey, New York City and parts of southern New England.
The tally of Monday's cancellations by industry data tracker FlightAware.com is likely to rise as the storm develops. JetBlue Airways Corp. scrubbed 275 flights, followed by Shuttle America, a provider of commuter operations for carriers including Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.
"For Tuesday, airlines have already canceled 1,013 flights and we expect this number to rise very significantly over the next day or two, reaching thousands of cancellations across the Northeast," FlightAware said in an e-mailed bulletin.
Preliminary cancellations in the face of foul weather help carriers in two ways. First, they are able to move planes, passengers and crews out of harm's way. Second, relocating aircraft to unaffected airports lets the airlines resume service faster once flight conditions improve.
The New York area is the busiest US travel market, home to three airports - LaGuardia, Kennedy and New Jersey's Newark Liberty - that are hubs for domestic and international travel. The trio ranked at the top of FlightAware's list of airports with the most scrapped flights for Monday.
A blizzard warning has been posted from New Jersey to Maine's border with Canada. The weather service's forecast for as much as 36 inches (91 centimeters) of snow in the northeast compares with the 26.9-inch accumulation in February 2006 that marked New York's biggest storm.