When the devastating hurricanes one after the other hit Texas and several Caribbean islands this summer, vacationers did not stay home and mope. Instead, the data from the airlines showed that a large number of travelers rebooked their holiday plans to Mexico. From the month of October 2017 till March 2018, US airlines States and international airlines have cut more than about 1.2 million seats to vacation spots that are hard like Puerto Rico, Cuba, the US Virgin Islands and the French Dutch island St Martin. This is per reports of the airline data as analyzed by the aviation consultant ICF. In that same period, US and international carriers added more than 600,000 seats for flights to popular destinations in Mexico such as San Jose del Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Mexico City.
The airlines have also added another 200,000 seats on flights to the Caribbean islands that suffered less damage from the hurricane which includes the places of Bermuda, Aruba, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Mark Drusch who is the ICF vice president and a former airline executive said that the customers want to travel to some warm place with a beach and the airlines want to book them to places that have hotel rooms available.
Drusch said that the data from the airline which was analyzed by ICF did not show a significant increase in the number of seats to other winter and spring destinations, such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver. The flow is moving back but the evacuees of Puerto Rico are still pouring into Florida. Puerto Rico is the place which suffered the worst toll from Hurricane Maria in the month of September, the biggest hit of all destinations in the Caribbean, with more than about 454,000 airline seats have been cut from flights to the islands in the winter and spring period as compared to the same six-month period in the year 2016-2017.
This actually amounts to a 20 percent drop in airline seats. According to ICF, St. Thomas which is one of the US Virgin Islands has lost more than about 282,000 airline seats that resulted in a 69 percent drop as compared to a year earlier. Cancun recorded the HIGHEST increase in airline seats amounting to 237,000 in the period of October to March which is actually a 10 percent increase over the same time a year earlier. This is also as per the data of ICF. Also, Mexico City had an 18.5 percent increase to about 187,000 airline seats.