Miami travelers heading to Haiti and the Dominican Republic will likely have to wait another day due to Tropical Storm Chantal.
American Airlines and GOL Transportes Aereos on Wednesday collectively canceled 20 flights from Miami International Airport to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, said Marc Henderson, an airport spokesman. At least three flights to Hispaniola from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport have also been canceled.
On Wednesday morning, Tropical Storm Chantal had sustained winds of 45 mph and was near Port-au-Prince, according to the National Weather Service. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas.
American Airlines canceled 22 flights to and from the islands Wednesday morning, said American Airlines spokesperson Dori Alvarez. The airline doesn’t expect to cancel more flights on Thursday, she said.
“Right now it looks like we’re operating normally for tomorrow,” Alvarez said. “But that could change depending on the weather.”
American Airlines allows customers to change their Caribbean itinerary if the company cancels flights due to inclement weather .
In the case of weaker storms, airline officials typically make the call on whether a flight will be cancelled, Henderson said. If a storm produces sustained winds of 55 mph, the control tower will close and ground all of the flights. It doesn’t look like that will happen with Chantal, but nobody can predict the weather, he said.
“Tropical storms can be unpredictable,” Henderson said. “We’ll just have to watch and see.”
National Weather Service forecasters expect that the storm will weaken to a tropical depression by Thursday. Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.