Flight schedules slowly returning to normal

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One day after thousands of travellers were stranded as Tropical Storm Isaac tore over south Florida and headed into the Gulf of Mexico, including disrupting flights between the Cayman Islands and Miami, airline operations were slowly returning to normal on Monday.

On Sunday, American Airlines and Cayman Airways both cancelled regularly scheduled flights between Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman and Miami International Airport, with the latter also scrapping flights to Cuba, as the ninth storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season churned in the northern Caribbean and bore down on the United States mainland.

But the following morning, both carriers had resumed their flights to Miami on time, while airports in south Florida reported they were expecting operations to return to normal by late Monday.

Late Sunday, Cayman Airways announced a series of rescheduled and additional flights on Monday, including:

KX 104 from Grand Cayman to Miami will now depart at 5.50pm arriving at 8.10pm;
KX109 from Miami to Grand Cayman will now depart at 9.15pm arriving at 9.35pm;
KX3104 to depart Grand Cayman at 4.30pm and arrive Miami at 6.50pm;
KX3106 to depart Grand Cayman at 6pm and arrive Miami at 8.20pm
KX3105 to depart Miami at 8.10pm and arrive Grand Cayman at 8.30pm;
KX3107 to depart Miami at 9.40pm and arrive Grand Cayman at 10pm;
KX 2832 to depart Grand Cayman at 1.20pm and arrive at 3.20pm in Havana to accommodate passengers whose flights were cancelled on Sunday;
KX 2833 to depart Havana at 4.20pm and arriving in Grand Cayman at 4.20pm to accommodate passengers whose flights were cancelled on Sunday.

American Airlines flights AA1700, AA1196, AA2239 and AA1485, all of which slated to fly between Grand Cayman and Miami International Airport but were cancelled on Sunday, were scheduled to resume flying on Monday.

The airlines are waiving fees for travellers who have to change their plans because of Isaac. Ticket holders are encouraged to monitor the airlines’ websites directly for details – caymanairways.com and aa.com. Flight schedules to and from the Cayman Islands also may be viewed at the Cayman Islands Airports Authority website at caymanairports.ky.

On Monday morning, Isaac was churning over the open Gulf of Mexico, where it was expected to intensify into a hurricane before hitting land somewhere between Louisiana and Florida and close to the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

On Sunday, the airports in Miami and Fort Lauderdale were hit the hardest, cancelling 589 flights – the vast majority of the 742 US flights grounded overall because of the storm as of Sunday afternoon, according to the flight-tracking service FlightAware.

American Airlines and its American Eagle affiliate cancelled 486 flights. The last American flight left Miami at noon Sunday. The airline expects to be fully operational out of Miami by noon Eastern time on Monday, said airline spokesman Matt Miller. American runs a hub in Miami, a jumping-off point for flights to the Caribbean and Latin America.

Overall, airlines have cancelled 184 flights for Monday but expect to be operating normally by late Monday, according to FlightAware.

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Cayman Airways and American Airlines resumed flights between the Cayman Islands and Miami on Monday, one day after Tropical Storm Isaac caused the carriers to scrap flights throughout the region.
Jeff Brammer