Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) cancelled all its flights to New York on Tuesday because of warnings that a powerful snowstorm would be ramming the city with full force. New Yorkers were bracing for up to 60 centimeters of snow and strong winds.
Residents along most of the the US’ northeast coast were preparing for an onslaught that also forced German Chancellor Angela Merkel to postpone a highly anticipated meeting on Tuesday with new US President Donald Trump in Washington DC. The storm was due to slam into coastal areas from Maine in the north to Pennsylvania and Washington in the south, according to US meteorologists.
With New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declaring a state of emergency on Tuesday, SAS decided to cancel all its flights from Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen, disrupting travel plans for around 1,000 passengers. Norwegian Air had not cancelled its flights to New York as of Tuesday morning, but state broadcaster NRK reported that the airline was following the situation closely.
“As it looks now, our departures won’t be affected,” Norwegian Air spokesperson Tonje Næss said Tuesday morning, “but safety is our highest priority. We of course won’t fly if the weather doesn’t allow it.” Even if Norwegian Air lands in New York, it can be extremely difficult for passengers to travel from the airport. New York’s subway system was halting all lines that travel above ground, while bus and train lines were expected to be halted as well.
More than 6,800 flights have also been cancelled all over the US because of the storm, with flights from New York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington and Philadephia hardest hit.