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Airlines dig out of freeze, fewer flights scrubbed

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm •  Published: January 8, 2014

Airport terminals took on a more normal look Wednesday as U.S. airlines canceled far fewer flights and began the job of digging out from a blast of polar air.

By midafternoon, about 770 flights within the U.S. had been canceled, according to tracking service That's down from nearly 2,700 cancelations on Tuesday and 4,100 on Monday.

The largest numbers of U.S. cancelations on Wednesday — more than 100 each — were on ExpressJet and Chautauqua, according to FlightAware. Those carriers operate smaller regional flights for the big airlines and usually are the first to have flights scrubbed when there's bad weather. Delta, United, American and Southwest had canceled 1 percent or fewer of their flights.

The more than 20,000 cancellations since last Thursday have cost the airlines between $50 million and $100 million, estimated Cowen and Co. analyst Helane Becker. Among the hardest hit was JetBlue Airways Corp., she said in note to clients Wednesday.

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