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Airports open but cancellations linger

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Most commercial airports in Florida reopened Tuesday, but activity was limited and hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed as the state recovered from Hurricane Irma.

American Airlines said the storm forced it to cancel more than 5,000 flights over several days, cutting into revenue and profit.

Miami International Airport said that some airline and cargo flights had resumed, with the first departure being an American Airlines flight to Las Vegas around 7 a.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration said airports in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville were open. The airport in Key West was closed except for emergency flights and was not expected to reopen until Friday.

Tracking service said more than 2,100 U.S. flights scheduled on Tuesday were canceled by mid-afternoon, including more than 500 in Miami and more than 400 in Orlando. Airlines told passengers to make sure their flights were on time before going to the airport.

FlightAware said several of the largest Florida airports were running at around half their normal capacity.

American Airlines Group Inc., which has a major hub in Miami, said all the storm-related cancellations caused it to cut a forecast for third-quarter revenue per mile by about 1 percentage point. American didn’t give a dollar figure, but a drop of 1.5 points in the same figure at United Airlines after Hurricane Harvey equaled about $150 million in lost revenue.

American said the combination of lost revenue from Irma and higher fuel prices from Harvey, which shut down many Texas refineries, would cause its third-quarter pretax profit margin to fall from around 11 percent to around 9.5 percent.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press

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