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Flight cancellations affect Jamaica as Hurricane Ian strikes Florida

The Ministry of Tourism says flight cancellations out of Florida will negatively affect Jamaica's tourist arrivals.

MBJ Airports Limited, operators of Sangster International Airport, says American Airlines, Southwest and Jetblue flights from Orlando, Miami and Fort Lauderdale were cancelled.

Delano Seiveright, Senior Strategist in the Tourism Ministry, told Radio Jamaica News that eight flights into Jamaica were cancelled Wednesday due to the hurricane. 

He said this is a "significant hit" to the country but he expects the Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports to return to being "fully online" by Thursday, since they were not as badly affected by the storm. 

In Orlando and Tampa, which were more severely affected by the hurricane, Mr. Seiveright said he expects the airports in those areas will be impacted for the rest of the week. 

He said more than 2,000 incoming and outgoing passengers between Florida and Jamaica have been affected by the flight cancellations just for Wednesday. 

Cruise schedules throughout the Caribbean have also been affected.


More than 2,000 US flights were cancelled in Florida, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware.

Another 1,600 flights have already been cancelled for Thursday, a two-day total topping 3,600 flights. 

Airlines cancelled flights in order to ensure their aircraft and crews were in safe locations and customers were not stranded as Ian approached Florida.

Airports in Orlando, Miami and Tampa are seeing the greatest number of cancellations. 

Tampa International Airport is closed, and Orlando International is closed to all but emergency flights. 

Several other smaller airports in Florida are also closed.

American Airlines, which operates about 250 daily departures out of Miami has cancelled 583 flights, including mainline and regional service. 

It has waived change and cancellation fees.