US flights from Dublin and Shannon cancelled ahead of storm
Taoiseach forced to cancel some engagements on US trip due to blizzard conditions
A fountain is covered in ice on Monday as the weather in US continues to be below freezing. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/EPA/Getty Images
A number have flights from Ireland to US airports were cancelled on Tuesday as blizzard warnings were issued for the east coast of the United States.
Aer Lingus, Delta Airlines and American Airlines cancelled their US bound flights on Tuesday morning and afternoon while flights leaving from Shannon airport were also called off.
In Dublin, the following flights have been cancelled:
Philadelphia American Airlines AA723, New York Delta Air Lines, New York Aer Lingus, Boston Aer Lingus EI137, Newark Aer Lingus EI101, New York Aer Lingus EI109, Boston Aer Lingus EI139.
In Shannon Airport, passengers on the following flights have been asked to contact their airline for further details and instructions; New York United Airlines UA24, Boston Aer Lingus EI135, New York (JFK) British Airways BA001, New York (JFK) Kuwait Airways KU117.
The severe weather conditions have forced Taoiseach Enda Kenny to cancel a number of engagements in Boston and Rhode Island as part of his St Patrick’s Day trip to the United States.
The onset of Storm Stella – which has also forced German chancellor Angela Merkel to postpone her much-anticipated visit to the White House until Friday – means the Taoiseach and his officials will be travelling to Washington DC a day early by train on Tuesday.
Mr Kenny will have to miss a planned speech at the John F Kennedy presidential library in Boston, a business breakfast at Boston College and a meeting with Norwegian Airlines at Providence, Rhode Island to ensure his presence in Washington DC on Wednesday where he is due to attend a series of events over two days.
Meanwhile, in the United States some 50 million people along the eastern seaboard are under storm or blizzard warnings or watches with the US National Weather Service issuing warnings fro parts of eight states.
“If you must go out, do so for as limited time period as possible ... but the best thing to do is stay in,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey readied hundreds of pieces of snow equipment at the three major New York area airports. Thousands of tons of salt and sand were prepared for airport roads, parking lots, bridges and tunnels.
Airlines pre–emptively cancelled more than 4,000 flights ahead of the storm, according to tracking service FlightAware.com. The airports with the most cancellations were Newark International Airport in New Jersey and Boston Logan International Airport.
American Airlines cancelled all flights into New York’s three airports - Newark, LaGuardia Airport and John F Kennedy International Airport - and JetBlue Airways reported extensive cancellations.
Delta Air Lines cancelled 800 flights for Tuesday for New York, Boston and other northeast airports. United Airlines said it would have no operations at Newark or LaGuardia.
“We’re keeping a close eye on things and depending on how things go, will plan to ramp back up Wednesday morning,” United said in a statement.
Governors in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia declared a state of emergency.
“When this thing hits, it’s going to hit hard and it’s going to put a ton of snow on the ground in a hurry,” Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker said, urging people to consider working from home if they could.
New York City public schools - the largest school system in the United States - has cancelled classes for Tuesday, while districts in Boston, Fairfax County, Virginia, and Philadelphia also cancelled school on Tuesday.
Additional reporting from Reuters