Hurricane Irma: Operators resume flights as airports re-open

Hurricane Irma: Operators resume flights as airports re-open

Operators have resumed flights from Cuba and Florida after airports re-opened following Hurricane Irma.

Havana and Varadero airports in Cuba re-opened yesterday to allow the first evacuation flights for British holidaymakers stuck on the storm-ravaged island.

Thomas Cook ran its first evacuation flight from Varadero last night and expects to fly home almost 2,000 UK holidaymakers from Cuba by Friday.

People booked to travel with Thomas Cook on Friday to Varadero and Cayo Coco are being offered free cancellation or amendment to another holiday up until the end of October.

Thomson also laid on three flights from Varadero into Manchester and Gatwick to bring home all its British holidaymakers.

But two Thomson flights due to depart from Gatwick to Varadero tomorrow have been cancelled.

All Thomson flights from Manchester to hurricane-ravaged Cayo Santa Maria in Cuba have been cancelled until November 14 with customers offered Cancun in Mexico as an alternative.

Orlando Sanford international airport also re-opened with Thomas Cook operating two flights out last night.

However, the operator issued a revised schedule from Sanford and apologised for further changes to departure times.

“In order to operate the flights from Orlando there are a number of logistical pieces which need to come together with

Thomas Cook and our partners which have unfortunately caused further delays,” the company said.

“Understandably this is very frustrating and has caused further inconvenience and we are extremely sorry that your plans have been disrupted further.

“All planes will fly out empty to bring customers that were originally booked on them home. If there are any spare seats on these return flights, we will accommodate where we can, any customers who want to return earlier than originally planned.

“Flight only customers booked on cancelled flights from Orlando will have additional accommodation costs refunded on return to the UK.”

Delayed Thomson flights back to Glasgow and Manchester are due to depart from Orlando today together with flights to Gatwick and Glasgow as scheduled.

A Thomson flight from Bristol to Sanford due to leave on Sunday will now depart this afternoon. Other flights delayed Monday from Glasgow and yesterday from Manchester are due to operate today alongside two scheduled departures from Gatwick.

Thomson said: “Customers who were due to travel to Orlando Sanford between Saturday 9th and Tuesday 12th September have the opportunity to cancel or amend free of charge. An additional £25 per person rebook incentive will also apply on any Florida holiday.”

British Airways plans to resume a normal flights schedule to and from Miami and Tampa today and from Orlando and Fort Lauderdale tomorrow.


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