JetBlue to halt New York, Boston flights to recover from storm

Mon Jan 6, 2014 1:41pm EST

Jan 6 (Reuters) - JetBlue Airways said it planned to suspend flights at New York and Boston airports later on Monday, with plans to gradually resume flights on Tuesday, as its operations recover from storm effects.

JetBlue said halting its flights at John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and Boston Logan airports would allow time to melt ice from its planes, position flight crews and take other steps to recover from the recent storm's turmoil.

"It's a combination of everything that has had a domino effect the last few days," JetBlue spokesman Anders Lindstrom said. "As one of the largest carriers in the Northeast, weather in this area impacts our entire route network and operations."

Also on Monday, Southwest Airlines said it had suspended operations at Chicago's Midway airport until 5 p.m. central time (2300 GMT). The carrier said freezing temperatures in the Chicago area were slowing the process to fuel planes.

Airlines as a whole canceled more than 3,000 flights on Monday as freezing conditions hobbled operations, especially in the U.S. Midwest and Northeast regions.

Shares of JetBlue were down 4.1 percent on Monday as most U.S. airlines traded weaker. Southwest shares were off 1.6 percent. (Reporting by Karen Jacobs, editing by G Crosse)