On Friday, more than 5,700 US flights were cancelled by airlines as severe winter storms disrupted airport operations around the country and aggravated tens of thousands of Christmas visitors.
According to the airline tracking website FlightAware, almost 1,000 flights have already been cancelled for Saturday, following nearly 2,700 cancelled flights on Thursday.
Amtrak, a passenger railroad, has disrupted thousands of travellers’ holiday travel by cancelling dozens of trains until Christmas.
Long-lasting delays on Midwest highways were caused by snowy weather or accidents, and authorities in several sections of Indiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio recommended drivers to avoid unnecessary travel.
Due to the winter weather, the Federal Aviation Administration enforced ground halt or delays for de-icing at a number of U.S. airports.
Airports around the nation are being impacted by two different storms, high winds, and other factors, according to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who told CNN that the U.S. aviation industry “is operating under extraordinary strain.” According to Buttigieg, about 10% of American flights were cancelled on Thursday.
After 11,300 flights were delayed on Thursday, 10,400 more flights in the United States were delayed on Friday, including more than 40% of flights run by American Airlines (AAL.O), United Airlines (UAL.O), Delta Air Lines (DAL.N), and Southwest Airlines (LUV.N).
On Friday, Alaska Airlines cancelled 507 flights, or 64% of its scheduled flights, while Southwest cancelled 1,238 flights, or 29% of all of its booked flights.
357 flights, or 63% of departures from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, were cancelled on Friday. Due to snow and ice, the FAA removed a ground halt there, but as of late Friday, delays were still averaging close to three hours.
At Detroit Metropolitan, nearly half of the departing flights were cancelled, as did 70% in Portland, 38% at New York’s LaGuardia, 29% in Chicago O Hare, and 27% in Boston.