British Airways is planning to evacuate customers from Florida and the Caribbean ‘as soon as it is safe to do so’ after Hurricane Irma left a trail of destruction across the region.
The airline flew an additional aircraft out to Bermuda on Sunday and plans to position it in Florida to bring as many customers home as possible.
“We also have aircraft ready in the Caribbean when airports re-open, to help get customers to airports with connecting flights to London,” it said.
BA is expecting to operate both its flights from Miami to Heathrow today and it said it will provide an update on information about Wednesday’s flights as soon as it received more details from the airport authroties.
It is also expecting to operate BA2038 from Orlando to Gatwick today but BA2036 from Orlando has been cancelled as have all BA flights from Tampa. Flights between Gatwick and Fort Lauderdale are expected to resume on Thursday.
“As the storm continues to make its way across the region, and the relief effort begins, flights will continue to be affected over the coming days. We are constantly reviewing the situation,” it said.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office warned that although the worst of the storm has passed over Florida, the situation remains hazardous. Millions of homes have been left without power and the clean up operation is expected to take weeks.
“The post-storm situation remains dangerous, with extreme flooding, power outages and limited communications,” said the FCO in an update to its USA travel advice. “The storm is not the only hazard, many electric lines will be down and some buildings may not be structurally sound. This may mean our ability to provide physical assistance becomes limited. You should ensure you have your own contingency plans in place and consider your travel plans very carefully, staying in contact with your airline and/or tour operator as appropriate”.
BA is operating flights to Barbados, Bermuda, the Grand Cayman, Nassau and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic as normal, and it has chartered two regional jets from LIAT to fly from Providenciales to Antigua today.
All customers from the cancelled service BA2256 on Sunday 10 September will be eligible to travel on these two chartered flights.
The flights will land in Antigua early evening and customers will be booked onto an extra British Airways service which has been organised as flight number BA2254 from Antigua to London Gatwick. It will arrive back at Gatwick at 1300 on Wednesday 13 September.