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UPDATE: Delta Cancels 800 Flights In Atlanta In Advance of Hurricane Irma

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UPDATE: Delta Cancels 800 Flights In Atlanta In Advance of Hurricane Irma

NASA

UPDATE: Delta Cancels 800 Flights In Atlanta In Advance of Hurricane Irma
September 11
17:08 2017

MIAMI — Delta Air Lines’ Operations and Customer Center canceled around 800 flights today at the company’s largest hub in Atlanta, as Hurricane Irma bears down on the metro area of 5.7 million people after wreaking havoc on the state of Florida. Irma has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, with wind speeds of around 60 miles per hour as opposed to ~130 miles per hour when it made landfall. However, even at those speeds, Irma will deliver powerful crosswinds that exceed the operating limits for many of Delta’s mainline and regional aircraft.

At issue is Irma’s anticipated general north-south wind direction juxtaposed with Atlanta’s east-west runway configuration. As is the case at all airports, Atlanta’s five runways are aligned with the prevailing wind, which generally blows from the east or west, and aircraft are best suited to take off and land into the wind for better performance. When the wind direction is perpendicular to the runway, it’s called a crosswind and can make landing challenging and potentially unsafe. A slight crosswind is allowable and can be safely managed, but at 40 miles per hour or greater, the crosswinds become dangerous. Moreover, Irma will also bring wind shear, lighting, and other convective weather which could prompt additional flight cancellations.

Atlanta is Delta’s largest hub with close to 1000 peak day departures (2,000 flights), so these 800 flights represent about 40% of Delta’s operation at the airport. Because of how critical Atlanta is to Delta’s operation, it is likely that any cancellations will have downstream effects across Delta’s route network.

Florida Restart

While Irma crosses into Georgia today,  Delta has set its sights on resuming service to Florida airports, within the next couple of days.

Delta will collect reports from airport authorities throughout the state Monday on the condition of runways, taxiways and terminal infrastructure, some of which sustained damage during the storm. Updates are expected throughout the morning and the state of the infrastructure will determine Delta’s Florida restart.

Accordingly, Delta encourages passengers to check the status of their flight before leaving for the airport via the Fly Delta app or at Delta. Moreover, Delta suggests that passengers transiting the airline’s Atlanta hub today proactively reschedule their itineraries around the city on their website.

Additionally, the airline has combined and consolidated fee waivers through Sept. 17 for customers transiting three dozen destinations where flights will be affected by Irma, and conceived a second waiver for St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Turks and Caicos for passengers ticketed through Oct. 31.

Last but not least, Delta will offer a humanitarian flight to St. Thomas, bringing in recovery supplies and bringing back nearly 150 U.S. citizens to Atlanta. Further humanitarian flights will be scheduled during the week to several destinations in the Caribbean.

Updated airport-by-airport forecast for operations in the Caribbean, Florida and the southeastern U.S.

Station Flights Suspended Flights to Resume
Caribbean
St. Maarten (SXM) Canceled all flights beginning Wed. Sept. 6 Restart TBD (pending infrastructure assessment)
St. Thomas (STT) Canceled all flights beginning Wed. Sept. 6 Restart TBD (pending infrastructure assessment)
San Juan (SJU) Canceled all flights beginning Thurs. Sept. 7 Restarted operations Fri., Sept. 8
Punta Cana (PUJ) No Impact No Impact
Santiago (STI) Canceled all flights beginning Wed. Sept. 6 Restarted operations Fri., Sept. 8
Port-au-Prince (PAP) No impact No impact
Providenciales (PLS) Canceled all flights beginning Wed. Sept. 6 Restart TBD (pending infrastructure assessment)
Nassau (NAS) Canceled all flights beginning Fri. Sept. 8 Restart TBD (pending infrastructure assessment)
Georgetown/Exuma (GGT) Will cancel beginning Sat., Sept. 9 Restart TBD (pending infrastructure assessment)
Marsh Harbor (MHH) Will cancel beginning Sat., Sept. 9 Restart TBD (pending infrastructure assessment)
Freeport (FPO) Will cancel beginning Sat., Sept. 9 Restart TBD (pending infrastructure assessment)
Florida
Key West (EYW) Canceled all flights beginning Fri. Sept. 8 Restart anticipated Tues. Sept. 12, afternoon (pending infrastructure assessment)
Miami (MIA) All flights canceled after 8 p.m. Fri., Sept. 8 Restart planned Mon., Sept. 11, afternoon
Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) All flights canceled after 8 p.m. Fri., Sept. 8 Restart planned Mon., Sept. 11, afternoon
West Palm Beach (PBI) All flights canceled after 8 p.m. Fri., Sept. 8 Restart planned Mon., Sept. 11, afternoon
Ft. Meyers (RSW) All flights canceled after 2 p.m. Sat., Sept. 9 Restart tentatively Tues. Sept. 12 (pending infrastructure assessment)
Sarasota (SRQ) All flights canceled Sun., Sept. 10 Restart tentatively planned Mon., Sept. 11 (pending infrastructure assessment)
Melbourne (MLB) All flights canceled after 5 p.m. Sat., Sept. 9 Restart planned Mon., Sept. 11, afternoon
Tampa (TPA) All flights canceled Sun., Sept. 10 Restart tentatively Tues., Sept. 12

(pending infrastructure assessment)

Orlando (MCO) All flights canceled after 5 p.m. Sat., Sept. 9 Restart planned Mon., Sept. 11, evening
Daytona Beach (DAB) All flights canceled after 6 p.m. Sat., Sept. 9 Restart planned Tues. Sept. 12
Gainesville, FL (GNV) Flights canceled after 9 p.m., Sat. Sept. 9 Limited flights Sun., Sept. 10 and continue Sept. 11
Jacksonville (JAX) All flights canceled after 7 p.m. Sat., Sept. 9 Restart planned Mon., Sept. 11, afternoon
Tallahassee (TLH) Operational Plan TBD Limited flights Sun., Sept. 10 and continue Sept. 11
Georgia
Brunswick (BQK) Limited flights Sun., Sept. 10 and continue Sept. 11 Limited flights Sun., Sept. 10 and continue Sept. 11
Valdosta (VLD) All flights canceled Sun., Sept. 10 Restart tentatively Mon., Sept. 11

(pending infrastructure assessment)

Albany (ABY) All flights canceled Sun., Sept. 10 Restart tentatively Mon., Sept. 11

(pending infrastructure assessment)

Atlanta (ATL) Approximately 130 Delta Connection flights canceled Mon., Sept. 11, more possible Delta recommends customers transiting Atlanta make alternate plans via waivers on delta.com
Savannah (SAV) All flights canceled after 3 p.m. Sun. Sept. 10 Restart tentatively Mon., Sept. 11

(pending infrastructure assessment)

Tennessee
Chattanooga (CHA) Operational Plan TBD Operational Plan TBD
Nashville (BNA) Operational Plan TBD Operational Plan TBD
Alabama
Dothan (DHN) All flights canceled Sun., Sept. 10 Restart tentatively Mon., Sept. 11

(pending infrastructure assessment)

Birmingham (BHM) Operational Plan TBD Operational Plan TBD
Huntsville (HSV) Operational Plan TBD Operational Plan TBD
Montgomery (MGM) Operational Plan TBD Operational Plan TBD
Mobile (MOB) Operational Plan TBD Operational Plan TBD
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About Author

Zvonimir Tolj

Zvonimir Tolj

Online Editor. Journalism and Communications Student. A newcomer into the Aviation World, growing into an avid AvGeek. I live for Pop Music, Photography, Travel, Food, and devoted to Fashion, and Editorial Design. "It's hard to find a balance between sound and peace." zvonimir@airwaysmag.com

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