Delta, Southwest cancel flights in Irma’s path, add departures from Fla.

3:26 p.m Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017 Business
This Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Hurricane Irma nearing the eastern Caribbean. Hurricane Irma grew into a powerful Category 4 storm Monday. (NOAA via AP)

Delta Air Lines is cancelling flights that had been scheduled for Wednesday in St. Thomas as it prepares for Hurricane Irma to pass through the Caribbean.

Atlanta-based Delta said it will also delay its evening flights in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is planning to assess facilities after the storm passes.

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brad Nitz has an update on its track Tuesday night.

The airline said its team of meteorologists expect the storm to begin curving north late Saturday afternoon, passing between Cuba and the Bahamas toward the southern tip of Florida. The airline said its strategic planners are working with employees at airports along the storm’s path.

Delta is also adding flights out of South Florida, as residents scramble to evacuate.

The added flights from Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Key West will come into Atlanta, Delta’s largest hub.

The planes Delta is adding on the routes are narrow-body and wide-body jets, including Boeing 757s.

Southwest Airlines, the second-largest carrier at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, is cancelling flights to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and San Juan on Wednesday and Thursday.

Dallas-based Southwest is also cancelling flights scheduled for Friday and Saturday to Nassau and Havana.

Hartsfield-Jackson is advising travelers to monitor their airline’s communications channels.

Delta and Southwest are both allowing travelers with flights booked to change their travel plans without paying certain charges if they had flights booked to cities in the hurricane’s path during a set period.

On Wednesday, Delta added more cities in Florida that qualify for its waiver, indicating the broadening reach of the storm.

In addition to a number of destinations in the Caribbean, Delta passengers with flights booked during the period Sept. 6-17 to, from or through Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Key West, Sarasota, West Palm Beach, Daytona Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Gainesville (Fla.), Jacksonville, Melbourne, Orlando, Panama City, Pensacola, Sarasota/Bradenton, Tallahassee or Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater in Florida, can make a change to their ticket without a fee.

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