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September 12, 2017

Air Travel: Airports Reopen Post-Irma + New Flights to Europe, Australia

Water damage in Orlando International Airport caused by Hurricane Irma
Water damage in Orlando International Airport caused by Hurricane Irma

Irma’s impact on airports leads the air travel news in the meetings and events industry this week.

Flights Begin to Resume Post-Irma

Flights began to resume from Florida and Georgia airports Tuesday morning as Irma continued to weaken and move north, our partner publication Travel Agent reports. 

Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa airports all resumed flights Tuesday morning, as did Delta’s busy Atlanta hub and the Savannah Hilton Head International Airport. West Palm Beach Airport offered one Delta departure Monday, and began offering flights on other airlines Tuesday. 

In the Caribbean, Antigua’s V.C. Bird International Airport reopened the afternoon of September 6, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization, as did St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport. The Vance W. Amory International Airport in Nevis is also open.

The airport in Anguilla received severe damage, although the airport’s runway and most roads leading to the airport have been cleared of debris. Authorities are still working to clear the runway of St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport, which also saw extensive damage to its roof and building. In the British Virgin Islands, which saw extensive damage from the storm, the airport remains operational but the tower has been compromised.

Flights from Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos resumed Monday. 

United Announces New Summer 2018 Flights to Europe

In flight news, United Airlines has announced new nonstop seasonal service to four popular European destinations including Reykjavik, Iceland, Porto, Portugal, Edinburgh, Scotland, and Zurich, Switzerland.

The summer 2018 schedule allows travelers more travel options from the company’s New York/Newark, San Francisco, and Washington/Dulles hubs. 

While the new flights are still waiting government approval, they are now available for purchase. 

United has also added daily service between Los Angeles and Singapore and between New York/Newark and Buenos Aires starting October 2017 and in January 2018, will begin daily nonstop service between Houston and Sydney, pending government approval. 

WOW air to Launch Dallas – Iceland Service

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) has announced a new, upcoming non-stop service to Reykjavik, Iceland. The service will begin May 2018, and will be operated by the Iceland-based WOW air three times per week on a seasonal basis, utilizing Airbus A330 Aircraft.

Delta, Air France to Launch Nonstop Indianapolis – Paris Flights

Delta, in cooperation with joint venture partner Air France KLM, has announced it will bring nonstop transatlantic service from Indianapolis to its European hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle beginning May 24, 2018.

From Indianapolis Delta offers service to 13 destinations and 37 peak-day departures, as well as its premium lounge, the Delta Sky Club. With the new service to Paris, customers from across the Hoosier State will have one-stop connections at Paris-Charles de Gaulle to more than one hundred destinations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India, the airline said.

United Airlines to Add Nonstop Houston – Sydney Flights

Finally, United Airlines has announced that starting January 18, 2018, United will begin daily, nonstop service between its Houston hub and Sydney, Australia. The new flight, at 8,596 miles, will be United’s second longest, just after United’s Los Angeles – Singapore service, which debuts in October 2017. When this flight debuts, United Airlines will officially provide the three longest flights by a U.S. carrier, the airline said.

United’s flight between Houston and Sydney will be operated with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, each with a total of 252 seats: 48 flat-bed seats in United Polaris business class, 63 Economy Plus seats and 141 seats in United Economy. 

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