Tropical Storm Ian threatens another blow to air travel as it moves from the East Coast and Florida Panhandle, where airports are assessing conditions and determining when service can safely resume.
Flight cancellations are set to surpass Wednesday — the worst day for U.S. flight cancellations in the past six months, FlightAware data showed Thursday. As of 1 p.m. Thursday, airlines had canceled more than 2,000 flights in the U.S. and had already canceled more than a thousand on Friday.
“Tropical Storm Ian is moving into the Atlantic from Florida and is expected to turn northwest tomorrow and make landfall again in the Carolinas,” the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement, adding that travelers should check with airlines about the status of their flights. .
Here’s how some airlines are affected:
- American Airlines — which canceled more than 600 flights on Wednesday and another 348 on Thursday — says operations at its fourth-largest hub in Miami are recovering.
- Southwest AirlinesIt typically operates the largest number of routes to and from Florida airports, with more than 525 flights canceled.
- United Airlines It says it has canceled more than 392 flights to and from Florida airports since Tuesday.
Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport is expected to reopen late Friday, CEO Rick Piccolo told CNN. He watched from his office as the storm tore off the roof of the airport. “We won’t be as pretty as we used to be because the ceiling is all gone and we’ll be operating,” he said.
Tampa International Airport officials said Thursday morning that an inspection “determined TPA did not sustain serious damage during the storm.” When it reopens at 10 a.m. on Friday, it expects “higher passenger numbers.” Airport CEO Joe Lopano said in a statement that it was “very fortunate to come out the other side of this largely unscathed.”
Melbourne Orlando International Airport — one of Florida’s smaller commercial airports with service from Allegiant, American and Delta — plans to reopen Friday morning.
CEO James Parrish said the Punta Gorda airport suffered “extensive” damage to hangars at the airport and the passenger terminal was without power. Once power is restored, the airport plans to resume Allegiant Air service, he said.
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