Jan 8 Air travel conditions improved in the U.S.
on Wednesday with carriers cancelling fewer flights as wide
sections of the country were forecast to warm up after a major
Carriers canceled more than 1,100 flights on Wednesday,
according to FlightAware.com, down from 3,200 on Tuesday. Since
Jan. 1, carriers have canceled more than 19,300 flights,
Among major carriers, Delta Air Lines had canceled
four flights and Southwest Airlines had halted 45 by
mid-afternoon on Wednesday, the data showed.
"The regional carriers are still the last to catch up
today," said Daniel Baker, chief executive of FlightAware.com.
"I think things will be back to normal late today and by
Record cold temperatures in the United States in recent days
had disabled equipment used to fuel airplanes and posed hazards
for airline ramp workers. Experts at Accuweather.com forecast
warmer weather around much of the country as an arctic air blast
eases in the second half of this week.
JetBlue Airways, which resumed flights to four New
York area and Boston airports on Tuesday after suspending
operations in those locations Monday evening to reposition crew
and planes, showed 13 cancellations early on the day Wednesday.
"It's looking really good today," JetBlue spokesman Anders
Lindstrom said in an email. "Operations are back to being close
to fully 100 percent operable."
American Airlines had canceled just under 100
flights Wednesday, most of them with its American Eagle regional
unit, according to FlightAware.com.
"The cold temperatures at many outstations are still making
things challenging for Eagle," American spokeswoman Andrea
Huguely said in an email.
Helane Becker, an airline analyst with Cowen & Co, estimated
the recent weather events would hurt industry earnings by $50
million to $100 million in the first quarter.
"We expect the airlines to be somewhat mixed over the next
week or so as the airlines start estimating the impact from the
(20,000) flights canceled as a result of difficult weather,"
Becker said in a note to clients.
Shares of major airlines moved up by mid-afternoon. JetBlue
gained 3.6 percent to $8.99, and Delta rose 4 percent to $29.91.
Southwest Airlines and United Continental were
also higher, while American Airlines rose 2.4 percent to $27.56.