In its most recent update in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) breaks down the money lost by major air carriers serving the Caribbean due to the impact of those two storms, as well as Hurricane Harvey.
Below is a list of airlines presently serving the Caribbean region that were impacted in the third quarter of 2017 as a direct result of the damage caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria in September, according to the CTO. As we mentioned, it should be noted that some airlines were also impacted by Hurricane Harvey in the United States.
American Airlines (AA) reported losses of $75 million in the third quarter due to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. AA had to close thirty of the stations and had the most cancellations of any of the top six airlines serving the Caribbean. Eight thousand flights were cancelled due to bad weather, according to Doug Parker, AA chairman and CEO.
United reported $185 million in pre-tax losses for the third quarter. It closed its hub in Houston for four days due to Hurricane Harvey. United did not report the total number of cancelled flights.
Southwest reported a loss of $100 million in revenue and cancelled 5,000 flights due to Harvey and Irma, as well as the earthquakes in Mexico in September.
Spirit reported losses of $40 million in revenue due to the three hurricanes. The carrier cancelled 1,650 flights. Note that during this time Spirit also had some pilot disputes.
Delta Air Lines
Delta reported losses of $120 million due to Hurricane Irma and the related cancellation and disruptions.
JetBlue reported losses of $44 million in revenue, having had to cancel 2,500 flights in the third quarter. The airline is predicting an overall loss of between $70 and $90 million in the fourth quarter as a result of the after effect of the hurricanes, according to Robin Hayes, JetBlue's president and CEO.
JetBlue has also redeployed capacity from Puerto Rico to other leisure destinations in its program, and projects that by the end of 2018 it will return to the full Puerto Rico flight schedule. The airline has increased service to Florida and the Southern Caribbean.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
While not revealing specific revenue losses and cancellations, KLM has advised that it resumed flights to Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten as of October 29, with two flights a week, down from four flights a week pre- Hurricane Irma. These two flights now include stopovers in Curacao. KLM is also adding three extra flights a week to Curacao's already seven flights a week.
LIAT reports that it expects to end 2017 with a loss of $13.25 million due to the hurricanes. It anticipates a $4.6 million loss between October and December 2017.
According to Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the chairman of LIAT's shareholder governments, 408 flights were cancelled between June and September, compared to 67 for the same period last year.
This was as a direct result of the closure of airports in Dominica, St. Maarten, the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. These markets account for 30 percent of total LIAT flights and 34 percent of total revenue. LIAT anticipates that it will take nine to 12 months for market recovery.