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Major airlines struggle to reach Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria has left trail of devastation

Major American airlines are still having tremendous difficulties flying to Puerto Rico after last week’s hurricane. Almost all flights from and to the major airport of the island have been put on hold because of the catastrophic Hurricane Maria. Even so, the storm hasn’t prevented several relief flights from reaching Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico has been devastated by Hurricane Maria

The destructive Hurricane Maria has left at least ten people dead in the U.S. territory, CNN reports. Buildings have been destroyed, streets are flooded, and power and communication lines for millions of people have been cut off. Escaping the island is almost impossible as San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is almost completely shut down. Flights in and out have been extremely limited at the islands main travel hub.

But it’s not just the devastation at Puerto Rico’s biggest airport that is a major obstacle to U.S. airlines. Houston, Miami, Orlando and other airports across the southeastern United States have been shuttered because of extreme weather. Thousands of flights have been canceled, and airlines have been forced to adapt in this very disruptive period.

Despite the extreme circumstances, airlines have succeeded in flying relief over to Puerto Rico. On Friday, American Airlines flew to the island with aid workers, along with food, water, lanterns, cots, tarps, fans, batteries, boots, and generators. Another plane was sent over the weekend.

United Airlines said it sent a relief flight to the island with "15,000 pounds of food, water, and amenity kits for our employees” on Saturday. Another plane on Sunday brought blankets and other supplies. The airline said an additional cargo trip is planned for Monday.

Delta and JetBlue Airways were also able to send relief flights to Puerto Rico over the weekend. Both airlines are expected to increase the number of flights on Monday and Tuesday.

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