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Hurricane Sandy Canada Flight Delays: Disruptions And Cancellations At Airports Due To Monster Storm (UPDATED)

10/29/2012 05:32 EDT
AP

UPDATE: Porter Airlines has cancelled all operations to and from its Billy Bishop Airport due to the incoming hurricane. The suspension is expected to last from Monday at 3:00 p.m. EST to Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. EST. Porter will re-evaluate the situation tomorrow and decide whether or not to resume operations then, says Brad Cicero, a rep for Porter Airlines.

UPDATE: As of 8:30 a.m. EST, Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is reporting a total of 116 cancelled flights — 60 departing and 56 incoming — due to Hurricane Sandy. The bulk of these flights are to and from LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International, says Dominique Lambert, a spokesperson with the airline. A list of all the cancelled flights can be found here

Hurricane Sandy is coming to Canada and travellers looking to escape the predicted 50 to 100 millimetres in rainfall and gusty winds via plane may be out of luck.

According to Environment Canada, the monster storm is expected to hit the southwestern regions of the Maritimes and Quebec, along with Southern and Central Ontario — the last two areas expected to take the brunt of the storm late Monday evening and early Tuesday.

As a result, some airports are already reporting flights cancellations, like Toronto's Pearson International, which has cancelled over 400 flights coming and going from the airport — many of them to destinations on the U.S. Eastern seaboard that are currently contending with Hurricane Sandy, reports the Toronto Star. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is reporting that as of Monday, 23 per cent of all flights to and from Pearson International have been cancelled, though not all of the 169 flights are directly related to Hurricane Sandy.

In Quebec, all scheduled departures from Montréal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to New York and New Jersey for Monday are now cancelled, according to the airport's website.

The situation isn't any better south of the border, according to FlightAware, a flight-tracking service. As of Monday morning, over 7000 flights were cancelled for the day, with the bulk of them coming from major U.S. airports like Philadelphia International, John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia Airport.

FlightAware also says the number of cancellations is expected to stay the same for Tuesday.

While strong winds and heavy downpour are the reason for flight cancellations in the U.S., Bob Robichaud of the Canadian Hurricane Centre says Sandy may be packing another type of precipitation: snow.

“[It's] another thing we’re going to have to consider with this thing, just because it’s drawing in some cold air from the north,” said Robichaud according to the National Post

The mixture of rain, winds and snow has prompted some airlines to take to Twitter to inform would be flyers of expected disruptions and delays within the week.

Porter Airlines, WestJet and Air Canada have all revised their booking policies to allow for rescheduling without any additional charges due to Hurricane Sandy. However, all three airline urges travellers to check the status of their flights prior to leaving.

With files from the Canadian Press

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