Local couple on honeymoon in Dominican Republic caught up in Hurricane Irma

Three Canadian airlines are sending planes to the Carribean to safely evacuate travelers ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Neither Air Transat nor WestJet specified precisely how many passengers are expected to return to Canada.

The Dominican Republic escaped the worst of Hurricane Irma.

“All aircraft should arrive in the Dominican Republic on the morning of September 6th, and passengers should be back in Canada in the afternoon or early evening”, the company said in a statement.

The holiday travel airline did not say how many of its travellers would board the flights back to Canada.

Air Canada has not put out an official statement.

Christian Aid is assessing flood and wind damage in northern areas of Dominican Republic and Haiti battered by Hurricane Irma on Thursday.

Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale causes rain and strong winds in the northeast of the Dominican Republic, after leaving behind Puerto Rico. Two flights were also sent to St. Maarten on Tuesday.

The airline has also waived fees for customers wanting to change flights.

Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, ripped through islands of the Eastern Caribbean on Wednesday en route to the U.S. state of Florida, leaving a trail of destruction in its path, especially in Anguila, the British Virgin Islands, Barbuda and Turks and Caicos Islands. “I understand that the round-trip airfare is not reimbursed”, Aaron Green, an Air Transat customer at the Punta Cana Airport told CTV Montreal.

Sunwing says it’s activated plans to bring customers home from all destinations under a hurricane watch or warning. The company did not specify the number of special flights.

“You have got an extremely large population of really vulnerable people”, she said.

“There are a lot of cancellations and people are making the best of it”. “We have people from Kitchener-Waterloo who are our lead staff there, Rebecca and Paul Shetler Fast, and they have done a lot to work in response to other disasters like Hurricane Matthew last fall, and who are really quite prepared”.

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