Thousands of flights in and out of New York and other US east coast destinations have been cancelled ahead of the hurricane that is expected to hit the US on Monday.
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Etihad Airways are among airlines that have cancelled flights to and from east coast airports in the wake of a major storm which is expected to bring winds, flash flooding and heavy snowfall.
All of BA New York flights were cancelled today and the carrier has confirmed it will cancel flights to and from New York, Baltimore, Washington, Boston and Philadelphia tomorrow. In addition, it has advised affected passengers not to travel to airports.
“Hurricane Sandy is causing disruption, flight delays and cancellations throughout the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S.A.,” BA said in a statement on its website.
“We understand that customers may be disappointed, however their safety is our highest priority. We are offering the option to re-book or receive a refund to those customers whose flights are cancelled.”
Virgin Atlantic flights to and from New York, Washington and Boston on Monday have also been cancelled.
Emirates cancelled a flight scheduled to leave New York for Dubai on Sunday in addition to a flight scheduled from Dubai to New York on Monday morning.
Meanwhile Etihad Airways cancelled two flights on Monday between Abu Dhabi and New York.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is making preparations in advance of the anticipated landfall of a significant coastal storm.
Travellers are being urged to contact their airlines before travelling to the airport to learn about potential delays and cancellations.
All maritime facilities in New York and New Jersey will close at midnight and the terminals will remain closed until further notice.
The port terminals that will be closed are Port Newark Container Terminal, Port Elizabeth Marine Terminal, Port Jersey Marine Terminal, Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island and the Brooklyn-Port Authority Marine Terminal.
The hurricane is anticipated to bring a near-record storm surge of six to 11 feet to the New York Harbor, which is five feet above the storm surge from Hurricane Irene.
Port Authority customers have been advised to check www.panynj.gov for updated information about all Port Authority facilities.
Michael Bloomberg, New York mayor, has ordered the evacuation of low-lying areas of New York City which are home to 375,000 people.