Hurricane Sandy grounds all Porter flights from Toronto’s island airport
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Porter Airlines is cancelling all flights in and out of Toronto’s island airport beginning at 3 p.m. Monday.
The flights will remain grounded until noon on Tuesday.
The move comes amid concerns over high crosswinds and their impact on Porter’s Q400 turboprops.
In addition, Porter has extended its flight cancellations between Toronto and Newark, Boston and Washington for Tuesday, said Porter spokesman Brad Cicero.
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At Pearson International Airport, more than 300 flights were cancelled today, and more may be cancelled after Environment Canada issued a wind warning this morning.
The flights most affected are those headed to New York, Washington, Newark, N.J., Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Hartford, Charlotte and Providence.
Travellers are encouraged to check with their airlines before heading to the airport.
“It’s similar to a snowstorm where there was a few days’ warning,” said Pearson airport spokesman Scott Armstrong in an interview. “No one woke up today and was surprised to hear there was a storm coming.”
He said the weekend gave many travellers time to make other arrangements.
If flights are to be cancelled into Tuesday, Armstrong said airlines will start making announcements on Monday afternoon.
“Obviously, the airlines are being cautious about where their planes are when the storm hits,” he said, adding airport officials will keeping close watch.
Given the forecast of heavy rain and high winds, the airport has extra crews on standby in the event of flooding. It has already locked down equipment and moved other pieces inside.
“It’s very similar to waiting for a snowstorm, where the airlines do their cancellations,” Armstrong said. “We staff up and we wait and see.”
WestJet Airlines has cancelled all its flights to and from New York’s LaGuardia airport for Monday and Tuesday, with plans to resume service on Wednesday. As well, it has cancelled some flights for Halifax and St. John’s due to the weather, for a total of 22 cancellations so far.
“We continue to monitor Hurricane Sandy and will advise guests of any updates to WestJet travel through our website’s travel advisory section and our social media channels,” said WestJet spokeswoman Jennifer Sanford.
Airlines are waiving the usual change fees it charges for cancelling flights or swapping tickets for a later date.
All passengers can check on individual airline websites for the status of a flight or the Pearson airport website.