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USA | Sep 27, 2022

Airlines scrap over 1,200 US flights as Hurricane Ian set to make landfall

/ Our Today

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Local residents fill sandbags, as Hurricane Ian spun toward the state carrying high winds, torrential rains and a powerful storm surge, at Ben T. Davis Beach in Tampa, Florida, U.S., September 26, 2022. (File Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

(Reuters)

Airlines canceled over a thousand US flights today (September 27) and tomorrow and several Florida airports are halting operations as they brace for impact from Hurricane Ian, which was set to make landfall in the state.

Airlines had scrapped 321 flights on Tuesday and 1,148 on Wednesday across the US, according to flight-tracking website Flightaware.com.

About 1,400 flights within, into, or out of the United States were delayed as of Tuesday, Flightaware.com data showed.

Hurricane Ian entered the US Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday and is forecast to become a dangerous, category 4 storm over the warm waters of the Gulf, according to National Hurricane Center forecaster Eric Blake.

It is expected to bring hurricane-force winds of up to 130 mph (209 kph) and as much as 2 feet (0.6 meter) of rain to the Tampa area starting early on Wednesday through Thursday evening.

“We’ve suspended operations today in Havana, Cuba, and will suspend operations beginning this evening in Tampa, Sarasota, and Fort Myers through Thursday, September 29, 2022.”

Southwest Airlines Co

St Pete-Clearwater Airport halted operations at 1 pm ET Tuesday, while Tampa Airport will halt operations at 5 pm and Orlando International Airport will cease operations at 10:30 am Wednesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it was “closely monitoring” Hurricane Ian and its path.

Major US carriers also halted some operations.

“We’ve suspended operations today in Havana, Cuba, and will suspend operations beginning this evening in Tampa, Sarasota, and Fort Myers through Thursday, September 29, 2022,” Southwest Airlines Co said in a statement.

American Airlines Group Inc said it has issued a travel alert for 20 airports in the western Caribbean and Florida.

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