Canadian airlines sending planes to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Irma

Sep 6 2017, 10:43 pm

Three Canadian airlines are sending planes to the Carribean to safely evacuate travelers ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Montreal-based Air Transat said that launched an evacuation operation out of the Dominican Republic by sending a total of 10 planes: seven to Punta Cana, two to Peurto Plata, and one to Samana.

“All aircraft should arrive in the Dominican Republic on the morning of September 6th, and passengers should be back in Canada in the afternoon or early evening,” the company said in a statement.

WestJet is sending a number of 737-800 planes to operate as rescue flights to Punta Cana and Puerto Plata today.

“For September 7, the plan at this time is to operate additional flights to Santa Clara and Cayo Coco, Cuba to return guests back to Canada,” Lauren Stewart, a representative from WestJet, told Daily Hive.

“We are working with local authorities, our hotel partners and the airports to coordinate our rescue efforts, however, we advise that anyone in the area follow the instructions of local authorities and the hotels who are implementing their own hurricane preparedness plans.”

WestJet has also implemented flexible change and cancel rules that allow guests to change their travel dates and routes without having to pay any extra fees.

Air Canada has not put out an official statement. However, on Twitter, the company says it is “working hard to get affected passengers out as soon as [they] can.”

The airline has also added extra flights to areas affected by the storm.

Air Canada has also waived fees for customers who need to change flights.

Hurricane Irma is one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic. The Category 5 storm has maximum wind speeds of 295 km/h.

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