Irma CDN Update: Airlines, Operators Bring Travellers Home

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Airlines and tour operators serving Canadians have been scrambling to get their travellers out of harm’s way. Here are the latest updates:

Air Canada

In response to Hurricane Irma, AC is operating a total of 24 additional flights to bring customers home early from the Dominican Republic (Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Samana), Florida (Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Orlando), Cuba (Varadero, Holguin, Havana and Cayo Coco), Antigua and Providenciales, as well as adding larger aircraft with more seats for flights from the region, including Havana and Nassau.

With these additional flights and larger aircraft, AC will have flown over 6,000 seats northbound in addition to its regular schedule over the three-day period from 5-7SEPT. 

In addition, Air Canada has implemented a goodwill policy for customers whose itinerary includes a flight impacted by the path of the hurricane.

Details and a list of airports impacted are available here.

A statement from the airline reads: “Air Canada is reviewing capacity requirements and working with Air Canada Vacations to ensure we have sufficient capacity to bring our customers home safely. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate further changes as necessary.”


After evacuating its pax out of the D.R., TS is continuing its rescue operation to repatriate pax that are in the trajectory of Hurricane Irma.

The company is now deploying a total of 10 flights to Cuba to evacuate its clients: four to Varadero, three to Santa Clara, two to Cayo Coco and one to Holguin. All aircraft should arrive in Cuba today, and passengers should be back in Canada in the afternoon or late evening.

This operation will allow more than 1,800 passengers to be repatriated.

Transat continues to monitor the evolution of Hurricane Irma and regular updates will be posted on its websites.


Sunwing’s hurricane policy has been extended to all southbound passengers that were scheduled to travel to any of these destinations between 6-10SEPT inclusive. Passengers have been provided the option to change destination or rebook for travel at a later date.

More Sunwing updates:

St Maarten/St Martin -- All southbound services cancelled for the remainder of the week.

Dominican Republic -- Southbound flight services departing 6-7SEPT inclusive to PUJ and 6-8SEPT inclusive to POP have been cancelled.

Cuba --. All southbound flights to Cayo Coco, Camaguey, Cayo Santa Maria and Holguin are cancelled. WG is sending in special flights to Cayo Coco, Cayo Santa Maria and Holguin to bring customers vacationing there home earlier. Flights to Varadero and Manzanillo are expected to operate as scheduled. However, passengers due to depart to any destination in Cuba now through 10SEPT inclusive have the option to rebook or change destination as per our hurricane policy.

The Islands of the Bahamas -- Flights to Freeport, Grand Bahama cancelled for 9SEPT. Customers departing between through 10SEPT have the option to rebook or change destination. A special flight today  will bring customers currently vacationing in Grand Bahama home early.

Florida – 9SEPT southbound services to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando are cancelled. Customers departing through 10SEPT have the option to rebook or change destination. A special flight from Florida on 8SEPT will  bring customers home one day earlier than scheduled.

Hola Sun

Hola Sun has implemented its hurricane policy due to Irma. All Southbound flights scheduled 8-10SEPT have been cancelled effective immediately.

Agents can contact the Hola Sun call centre at 905.882.9445 with any questions.

Travel Industry Council of Ontario

TICO is reminding all registrants of their responsibilities under the Regulation pursuant to the Travel Industry Act, 2002 in relation to the change or cancellation of travel services (transportation and accommodation) as to relates to damage sustained to properties in areas where a natural disaster has occurred.  

The organization is encouraging all registrants to review a Registrar Bulletin.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years.

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