Gulf airlines scrap New York flights as Irene hits

Emirates and Etihad both cancel flights as Big Apple braces under 115mph winds
Gulf airlines scrap New York flights as Irene hits
A person makes their way in the rain in Times Square in New York on August 28, as Hurricane Irene hits the city
By Claire Ferris-Lay
Sun 28 Aug 2011 04:15 PM

Gulf
carriers Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline have suspended their flights to
New York in the wake of Hurricane Irene, the airlines said Sunday.

Emirates
Airline said in a statement on its website that it had canceled six flights to
the US financial hub on Sunday 28 and Monday 29 August, as New York braced
under 115mph winds.

The
EK201 from Dubai to JFK on 29 August would be departing with a 3.5 hour delay,
leaving at 12.00pm local time while EK202 from JFK to Dubai on 29 August
will operate as originally scheduled, said the Dubai carrier.

Abu
Dhabi’s Etihad Airways said it had canceled all services to and from New York (EY100
and EY101) on 27 and 28 August. Passengers due travel on those dates have been
advised to rebook on alternative flights when operations are expected to
resume, said the carrier.

“Etihad
will operate the larger A340-600 aircraft on the route, upgrading from A340-500
aircraft, to provide additional capacity,” said a statement on its website. “Etihad
is providing accommodation in Abu Dhabi for passengers currently in transit to
New York.”

More
than a quarter of a million people were told to evacuate New York ahead of the
huge category one storm. Heavy rains across the city raised concerns of severe
flooding while 200,000 New Yorkers were left without power as Hurricane Irene
ripped through the city.

The
hurricane has so far killed ten people, including two children. In total more
than two million people across the US have been ordered to leave their homes
while a state of emergency have been declared in North Carolina, Maryland,
Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

Approximately 4,000 flights were canceled through the weekend but that number is
expected to grow as airlines firm up their plans, according to FlightAware.com,
a website that tracks flights

More
than 52,000 flights were canceled last winter due to heavy snowstorms in the
US, at a cost of millions of dollars to the aviation industry.

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