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Hurricane Matthew Could Disrupt Southeast Travel Plans For Weeks

Hurricane Matthew Could Disrupt Southeast Travel Plans For Weeks

Major U.S. airlines have now cancelled at least 3,785 flights through Saturday due to Hurricane Matthew. The storm is currently hammering the east coast of Florida. Although it has been dropped from a Category 4 to a Category 3 storm, Cape Canaveral has reported wind gusts of up to 107 mph.

Of course, with torrential rains and winds upward of 100 mph, air traffic to and from most airports in Florida has come to a standstill. That’s bad news for travelers but could be even worse news for airlines.

Flight Cancellations

Of the 1,500 Thursday flight cancellations (as of 8:30 p.m. Thursday night), more than 1,100 of them were from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU), Spirit Airlines Incorporated (NASDAQ: SAVE) and Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE: LUV) are three of the most active Ft. Lauderdale airlines.

Miami is one of American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ: AAL)’s largest hubs. As of Thursday evening, American was responsible for 861 flight cancellations.

Related Link: With Hurricane Matthew Picking Up Steam, Investors Are Piling Into This Generator Stock

As of around 6 a.m. Friday, Miami Int’ Airport tweeted that flights have resumed at “limited capacity. The airport also confirmed at least 305 Friday flight cancellations.

Fees Waived

As of Thursday evening, a number of airlines — including JetBlue, Spirit, Southwest, American, United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE: UAL) and Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) — have agreed to waive travel change fees for flights to and from certain Florida locations.

Other Travel, Leisure Stocks Affected

In addition to cancelled flights, Carnival Corp (NYSE: CCL), Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE: RCL) and Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) have all cancelled cruises set to sail from Port Canaveral on Thursday and Friday.

Disney, Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA)'s Universal Studios and SeaWorld Entertainment Inc (NYSE: SEAS) parks have also announced Friday closures of their Florida locations due to the imminent weather.

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