UPDATE: Florida flights cancelled in preparation for Irma

2017-09-07 08:30
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AP/Carlos Giusti

(AP/Carlos Giusti)

Cape Town - Airlines are preparing to cancel Florida flights that are in the path of Hurricane Irma.

The hurricane is expected to reach Florida by the weekend. American Airlines says it will begin shutting down operations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Sarasota and West Palm Beach by Friday afternoon and cancel flights through the weekend.

JetBlue Airways said Wednesday afternoon that it had canceled about 130 flights.

FlightAware.com reported that about 170 flights, roughly two-thirds of those scheduled, were canceled by late Wednesday afternoon at Luis Munoz Marin Airport International Airport near San Juan, Puerto Rico.

WATCH: Irma ‘strongest hurricane in US history’ wreaks havoc in Caribbean

American, JetBlue, United and Delta offered waivers letting customers change travel plans to Florida and the Caribbean without the usual charges for changing a ticket. Dates and covered locations varied.

JetBlue said it reduced fares to $99 to $159 one-way for remaining seats on flights leaving the hurricane's path including Florida and locations in the Caribbean.

WATCH: Tourists evacuate as monster Hurricane Irma hits Caribbean with 300km/h winds

Cancellations at Miami International Airport were minimal on Wednesday but already topped 300 flights for Friday, according to the tracking service.

So far the hurricane has devastated Barbuda and St Martins, and starting to wreak havoc in Puerto Rico, where power is already out.

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