New York airports, subway reopen, limited East Coast service

Reuters: WASHINGTON – New York-area airports reopened on Monday as U.S. airlines gradually restored more flights to their operations throughout the Northeast that were halted by Hurricane Irene.

New York subways also resumed service, gradually at first, after weekend closure, as did passenger rail Amtrak on the Northeast Corridor between Washington and Philadelphia.

Amtrak service north of Philadelphia was canceled due to flooding, track debris and continued electrical power problems, the railroad said. All Northeast service was shut down on Sunday.

Commuter rail service from Washington to Boston was uneven as most lines struggled to offer full or even partial schedules due to flooding and power outages.

Airlines would need a day to reposition aircraft flown out of the region ahead of the storm, leaving Tuesday as their target for returning normal service to the storm-struck region.

John F Kennedy and LaGuardia in New York and Newark in New Jersey – biggest U.S. aviation hub with 100 million passengers annually – were closed on Saturday as the storm bore down on the mid-Atlantic.

The three airports handle about 6,000 flights per day total.

JFK and Newark opened to arrivals at 6 a.m. EDT and will begin handling departures at noon. LaGuardia would open to both arrivals and departures at 7 a.m., the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said.

Airports in Philadelphia, Washington, and Boston were all open as well.

Airlines began winding down schedules on Friday in advance of Irene. They canceled more than 12,500 flights, including 1,300 on Monday, according to the online tracking service

Delta Air Lines include US Airways, American Airlines, United Airlines, and JetBlue Airways were most affected.

Some repositioning flights heading to open airports carried passengers while others were empty. Carri