United States airlines scramble to evacuate residents ahead of Hurricane Irma

First it was Harvey, now it’s Irma.

The airline added 16 extra flights from Miami on Thursday and another seven on Friday, enough room for more than 4,000 passengers.

Beyond U.S. airlines, Canadian carriers Air Transat and WestJet Airlines on Wednesday both launched evacuation operations to remove passengers that could be affected by Hurricane Irma in the Dominican Republic, and Air Canada allowed passengers to change flights in impacted areas free-of-charge.

Delta Air Lines Inc. said it had upsized aircraft and added flights to increase the number of available outgoing seats by 2,000.

Allegiant Airlines flight 738 was the only flight arriving from Orlando of the day.

Delta is a one of the few remaining USA airlines that has meteorologists on staff, creating forecasts for its operations and assisting dispatchers, pilots and ground crew.

Miami International Airport, a hub airport of American Airlines, will remain open but a spokesman warns that Florida’s largest airport is not a designated shelter. Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Sarasota and West Palm Beach airports.

Irma will hit Miami and Ft.

The biggest single carrier in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region is American, which accounts of 38% of the flying there, according to Morgan Stanley. Miami is the 12th busiest airport in America, having handled 44.6 million passengers in 2016.

Orlando International Airport’s final flight is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday and Tampa’s is closed to commercial flights as of 8 p.m.

A Delta-operated flight from NY to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and back, made headlines for narrowly avoiding the storm in a mission to evacuate another plane-full of passengers from the area ahead of Irma’s landfall.

There remains a wide margin of error for Irma’s late weekend path.

NWSHurricane Irma wind speed projections on September 7. He said the Delta and American flights will be the last to leave.

Meanwhile, Amtrak said it was canceling trains to and from Florida this weekend.

By comparison, Hurricane Ike, which hit Texas in 2008, canceled only 3,400 flights for the airline. Delta is canceling operations Saturday and possibly Sunday, but that will depend on weather conditions.

“Based on what we know, the majority of Florida will have major hurricane impact and deadly winds”.

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