Winds disrupt flights at King Airport
Published: October 16, 2012
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ST. THOMAS - High winds from the passage of Hurricane Rafael forced a number of flights at King Airport to be canceled, diverted or delayed Sunday.
At least one American Airlines flight was cancelled Monday as well, according to V.I. Port Authority spokeswoman Monifa Marrero.
King Airport was busy Monday as airlines tried to get all the stranded passengers to their destinations.
Marrero said the winds at the airport typically blow from east to west, but because of Rafael, winds were coming in from the west. The change in wind direction led to higher tailwinds for the landing aircraft, and some planes could not land safely Sunday.
A number of flights were diverted to San Juan, and others circled the island until the winds died down long enough to land safely.
Jet Blue cancelled an outgoing flight Sunday afternoon, and brought in a larger plane Monday to accommodate the passengers from Sunday's cancelled flight and the passengers booked on Monday's flight. The 4:45 p.m. Monday flight was delayed several hours, and Jet Blue provided meal vouchers to passengers, Marrero said.
Seaborne canceled two of its San Juan flights Sunday but operated normally Monday, Marrero said.
American Airlines diverted a flight from Miami to San Juan on Sunday. The flight arrived on St. Thomas on Monday afternoon about 2:30 p.m., Marrero said.
U.S. Airways diverted a flight to San Juan on Sunday but was able to land on St. Thomas later that day and fly out with departing passengers.
Flights to Rohlsen Airport were unaffected by the winds, said Acting Port Authority Executive Director David Mapp.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.