- The Washington Times - Friday, February 17, 2023

Electrical trouble overnight Thursday closed Terminal 1 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

“JFK Terminal 1 will remain closed on 2/17 due to electrical issues as the Port Authority continues working with the terminal’s operator to restore flight operations as quickly as possible. Travelers should check with their carriers for flight status before coming to the airport,” the airport tweeted.

The airport explained that the problem was caused by “an electrical panel failure, which also caused a small, isolated fire overnight that was immediately extinguished.”

The terminal is used by over 30 international planes. According to flight tracking website FlightAware, nine flights into and 24 out of JFK were canceled Thursday, with 13 arriving and 18 departing flights on hold Friday.

Some flights Thursday, such as EgyptAir Flight MS985, were diverted to other airports, in that case Dulles International Airport in the District of Columbia’s Virginia suburbs.

One Air New Zealand flight, ANZ2, couldn’t reach the U.S., spending more than 16 hours in the air before returning to Auckland, according to FlightAware.

“Diverting to another U.S. port would have meant the aircraft would remain on the ground for several days, impacting a number of other scheduled services and customers,” Air New Zealand told CNN in a statement.

Passengers, meanwhile, are left in the lurch.

“You’ve just got to roll with the punches. It’s an unfortunate situation, but we are making the best of it. And the airline is trying to accommodate us by moving to Newark, and hopefully, we will leave tonight,” traveler Don Corrao told New York City’s WCBS-TV.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.

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