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Delta diverting some polar flights due to solar storm | Business

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Delta diverting some polar flights due to solar storm

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- Delta Air Lines told Reuters early Wednesday that they were diverting some flights on transpolar routes between North America and Asia due to the solar storm bombarding the Earth.

The diversions, according to Delta, were to avoid disruptions to aircraft communications caused by the storm. The flights are running further to the south to avoid geomagnetic disruptions, adding about 15 minutes to travel times on what they called a "handful" of flights.

United Airlines said they had diverted one flight Monday, but none on Tuesday. Air Canada and Qantas Airways both said they had diverted some flights as well. American Airlines told Reuters they had experienced no operational impact due to the solar storm but that they were monitoring atmospheric conditions.

A massive coronal mass ejection from the sun Monday sent charged particles earthward, striking the atmosphere beginning Tuesday and continuing into Wednesday, in what NASA and NOAA officials called the biggest solar storm since 2003.

A solar radiation storm warning was issued by federal officials, which warned of potential disruption to satellites and communications systems in the upper latitudes.