Economy

Planes Fill Florida Skies as Hurricane Irma Approaches

Planes Fill Florida Skies as Hurricane Irma Approaches”

The hurricane is increasingly likely to make landfall in southern Florida as a risky hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center's September 7 evening update.

Swiss International Airlines is waiving rebooking fees for passengers travelling to or from six airports in Florida and the Caribbean as Hurricane Irma bears down on the region.

Air Canada announced on Friday that they had canceled all flights to and from Florida beginning Saturday, Sept. 9 through Monday, Sept. 11.

American canceled 85 flights for Thursday, 475 for Friday, 740 for Saturday, 760 for Sunday and 125 for Monday out of airports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers, along with this disclaimer: "These numbers will change as the storm continues to move toward the continental United States".

One of the biggest evacuations of aircraft on record is taking shape as airlines and private aircraft owners are moving their planes, and themselves, out of Hurricane Irma's path.

Flight-tracking website FlightRadar24.com saw the plane land for one last departure in the US territory located squarely in the path of Irma's landfall, fill with passengers, and make its successful flight back to NY on Wednesday.

All three carriers said they planned to mostly wind down south Florida operations by Friday evening.

JetBlue and Southwest flights from Florida cities to Albany are sold out through Sunday.

The airlines involved in cancellations at JAX are Allegiant, Envoy Air, Republic and Jet Blue.

Southwest is the latest airline to give downbeat outlooks for unit revenue, citing not only the estimated effects of hurricanes, but also increasing pricing competition and higher fuel prices.

The downgrade didn't stop airlines from canceling flights, however, as cancellations increased to 690 on Friday from 458 on Thursday, according to FlightStats.

JetBlue Airways Corp. will park planes primarily in NY and Boston, said Doug McGraw, a spokesman.

Both trains are canceled September 8, 9 and 10.

"The airport would only close after flight ops cease, or conditions are too harsh", JAX said in a tweet on Friday.

Since Wednesday, Delta has added 24 extra flights, carrying more than 5,000 extra seats, in Florida and the Caribbean.

One Friday Delta flight out of Orlando also includes a Boeing 747-400.



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