Weather is more likely to cancel your flight from Tampa than the FAA’s Boeing order


TAMPA — More local flights were stuck on the tarmac Thursday at Tampa International Airport because of the severe weather out west than because of the government’s decision to ground some of Boeing’s newest planes.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced Wednesday it would keep Boeing’s 737 Max 8 and Max 9 out of the air, as an investigation continues into two fatal crashes involving the planes.

“I think you’ll see pretty quickly airlines adapt and adjust their schedules so there won’t be ongoing lengthy cancellations,” said John Cox, a St. Petersburg resident who is a former U.S. Airways pilot and a former safety official at the Air Line Pilots Association.

By the time the ban took effect on Wednesday afternoon, three flights at Tampa International were canceled.

On Thursday, there were no canceled flights due to the Boeing Max planes, said spokeswoman Emily Nipps. But weather conditions, such as those from Wednesday’s ‘bomb cyclone’ in Denver, canceled a handful of arrivals and departures.

Less than 5 percent of the air traffic at Tampa International typically involves a Max plane, which is used by Southwest and American airlines. Since the FAA’s order to ground the plane, Cox said airlines have likely been moving in spare planes kept on hand when other planes go in for repairs or maintenance.

“I think in the near term, there are going to be minor inconveniences,” Cox said. “In the longer term, this will not affect the aviation fleet in North America.”

Contact Sara DiNatale at [email protected] Follow @sara_dinatale.

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