Hurricane has airlines concerned

    Cayman Airways passengers can change bookings


    Airlines servicing the Cayman Islands are keeping a close watch on the progress of Hurricane Irene. 

    And Cayman Airways customers who may be affected by the weather have the option of altering travel plans, confirmed the national airline. 

    “Due to the projected path of Hurricane Irene, Cayman Airways is offering passengers the convenience of changing their travel plans without penalty if they have already purchased tickets to travel between Grand Cayman and Miami or Tampa, Florida between August 22nd to 27th, 2011,” said Olivia Scott-Ramirez, marketing and public relations manager. 

    “For tickets issued no later than August 21st, 2011, passengers will be allowed one change free of charge. Passengers who made a previous change are allowed this additional change at no charge. Passengers who wish to cancel their ticket but do not have alternate travel dates at this time may be given a voucher for the value of the ticket, good for the next 12 months,” she explained. 

    “Cayman Airways is continuing to monitor the development and path of this storm and will advise the travelling public if flight schedule changes become necessary over the next few days.” 

    As of Monday, British Airways flights operating through Nassau to Grand Cayman operated as normally, albeit that the hurricane continues on its course through the Caribbean which could impact future air services. 

    “We are monitoring the situation very carefully,” said Adrian Barton, district manager for Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and Cayman Islands. 

    British Airways recommend passengers check arrivals and departures online for the latest information as the situation develops. 


    Miami cancellations  

    Models from the US National Hurricane Center predicted the storm would continue to pass through Hispanola on Tuesday, then hit Cuba and the Bahamas on Wednesday and Thursday before reaching Florida on Friday and Saturday, disrupting air traffic in and out of the area. 

    Continental Airlines services to and from Grand Cayman operate on Saturdays, said Mary Clark of United/Continental Media Relations. 

    “We don’t anticipate any impact to our flights at this time,” she said, advising customers to confirm their flights prior to travel.  

    Delta Airlines reported there were no disruptions to Grand Cayman services. 

    Peter Fitzpatrick of Air Canada said the company was vigilant. 

    “We are keeping an eye on hurricane Irene in the Caribbean with all destinations operational [Monday]. Obviously, we will have to see how events unfold,” he said. 

    Westjet representative Robert Palmer said the company had not yet experienced any impact, but confirmed they too were watching the weather closely. 

    Caribbean flights through Miami that were cancelled on Monday included San Juan, Puerto Rico; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; St. Maarten, Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; Santiago, Dominican Republic; St. Croix, Virgin Islands and Punta Cuna, Dominican Republic. Caren Thompson-Palacio of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority added that they were ready to spring into action. 

    “The Cayman Islands Airports Authority is closely monitoring the storm’s projected path and is prepared to activate our hurricane plans should the 
need arise.” 


    Airlines serving Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman are monitoring the recently formed Hurricane Irene. – Photo: Jeff Brammer

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