Hurricane Laura: United Airlines cancels flights, cargo delayed

White jets with blue tails pass each other at Houston's main airport.

(Updated Aug. 26, 10:15 P.M. with details on American Airlines)

A total of 414 flights were canceled at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston as of Wednesday afternoon as Hurricane Laura, now a Category 4 storm, bears down on the Texas coast.

The Houston Airport System also said on its website that 66 flights have been canceled at Hobby Airport.

United Airlines has canceled more than 600 flights across its network, including all flights through its hub at Houston Intercontinental Airport, for Wednesday and Thursday. Flight cancellations also impact businesses shipping cargo with the carrier.

The number of flights canceled is much fewer than normal because airlines are only flying limited schedules during the COVID-19 crisis. United is operating about 230 flights per day through Houston compared to 545 segments per day before the pandemic, according to spokesman David Gonzalez.

Earlier Wednesday, United Cargo said it was restricting reservations and transport of medical, funeral and temperature-controlled shipments at Houston Intercontinental.

Southwest Airlines proactively suspended flights from Houston Hobby through at least 1 p.m. on Thursday. The airline will make schedule adjustments as necessary to ensure customer and employee safety, a spokesperson said.

American Airlines canceled 19 flights today and has 36 cancellations planned for Thursday, spokeswoman Whitney Zastrow said.

In a related development, logistics provider Dunavent said its distribution group in Houston closed operations at 3 p.m. Wednesday so employees could find shelter. The company will have minimal staff onsite Thursday but said it expects to resume full operations on Friday.

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