Mayhem at JFK as Airport Digs Out

Jan 6, 2018

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New York’s JFK airport continues to suffer from some major ill effects in the aftermath of the bomb cyclone that hit the eastern coast of the US over the last few days. The airport has more planes landing than it has gates operating, resulting in some aircraft waiting on the tarmac for hours after touching down. Then to make matters worse, last night the wing tip of a China Southern 777 struck the tail end of a Kuwait Airways 777, causing damage to both aircraft.

Immediately following the cyclone, the airport was hampered by a number of gates being unusable due to being blocked by snow, along with the cold weather making operations at the airport run slower overall. Also, some planes that had been diverted away from JFK repositioned to the airport after the cyclone cleared, increasing overall traffic.

While it’s understandable that it would take some time for the airport to come back up to speed after more than 1,100 cancelled flights over Thursday and Friday, the delays for people on the ground waiting for a gate reached a completely unacceptable level. Air China Flight 989 landed at JFK from Beijing (PEK) at almost exactly midnight Eastern time, but as of 5:30am, it hadn’t yet made it to a gate. Passengers stuck on the flight took to social media to vent their frustrations:

The Air China 777 passengers finally got off the plane around 7am Eastern time this morning:

As of this morning, some flights enroute to JFK were being diverted back to their origin cities because of the airport’s capacity problems. However, many more flights were still on their way.

Things got worse when the collision involving those two 777w happened, near Terminal 4, which the Port Authority Police Department tweeted about:

The Port Authority told the New York Daily News that no passengers were on the China Southern plane, and though there were some passengers on the Kuwait Airways aircraft, no injuries were reported. Both planes were taken out of service after the incident.

Featured image by FlightRadar24 via Twitter.

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