After thousands of flights were canceled and major airports throughout Florida were closed because of Hurricane Irma, travel operations are beginning to resume.
Miami International Airport said on Twitter early Tuesday that passenger and cargo flights had resumed at the airport on a limited basis according to the airlines' schedules.
The airport endured nearly 100 mph wind gusts and sustained significant water damage from Irma Sunday, according to Aviation Director and CEO Emilio Gonzalez.
"The damage is in the gate areas, where water leaked in from jet bridges and the roof. The terminals with most damage are J, H, G, F and E," MIA Airport spokesman Greg Chin said.
Hurricane Irma, a once-Category 5 storm, had led to the cancellation of more than 4,200 U.S. flights scheduled for Monday, and more than 9,000 since Saturday, according to tracking service FlightAware.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport officials expected to resume operations at 4 a.m. on Tuesday.
The airport did not release an official update Tuesday morning but did reply to comments on Twitter confirming that it would be open Tuesday at 4 a.m. It encouraged customers to check flight schedules with airlines.
The damage at the airport from Hurricane Irma was minimal and the airport didn't lose power at any point, according to officials at the Broward County Aviation Department.
"Everything's working fine. All of our equipment was undamaged really so considering what we were facing earlier in the week, we are really fortunate to be facing what we are today," Aviation Department spokesman Greg Meyer said.
Officials anticipated that the airport would be very busy Tuesday and for the rest of the week.
"We have to make sure we're ready to go when we have 60,000 or 80,000 people who are trying to get out of Fort Lauderdale," Meyer said.
Operations at Key West International Airport are canceled through Tuesday.
Orlando International Airport reopened Tuesday for a limited number of flights. The airport's website warned customers not to come to the airport without confirming their seat assignments on their respective flights.
Tampa International Airport reopened Tuesday and said on Twitter that it would build up to a full schedule over the coming days.
Airlines are preparing their recovery schedules, which may take several days to execute.
American Airlines had announced that they would begin resuming limited operations in South Florida once the airports reopen. AA said they have capped their fares at $99 on direct, single leg flights from all cities affected under American Airlines’ travel alert, which can be found here.
Disruptions spread beyond Florida. Delta canceled 900 flights Monday, including many at its Atlanta hub because of high winds. Southwest canceled the rest of the day's Atlanta schedule in early afternoon. American scrapped 300 flights in Charlotte, North Carolina, due to the wind.
UPS and FedEx couldn't make flights into Miami, where each has a major sorting facility, and it was unclear Tuesday morning when deliveries would resume, partly because so many customers evacuated to avoid the storm.
"Even if we're able to make deliveries, can customers receive them?" said UPS spokesman Matthew O'Connor.
With Florida's biggest airports reopening Tuesday, airlines won't lose as much money on lost flights — nothing like the $150 million hit that United suffered last month from Hurricane Harvey in Texas.
Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. soared $2.26, or 5.2 percent, to close at $45.86. Spirit Airlines Inc. jumped $1.53, or 4.6 percent, to $34.63; and JetBlue Airways Corp. rose 68 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $19.38.
Those three have a greater percentage of flights in Florida and the Caribbean than do their rivals, according to a Raymond James analyst. Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc., United Continental Holdings Inc., Southwest Airlines Co. and other airlines also rose although by smaller percentages.
Anyone traveling out of any airport should check with the airline to confirm the flight's schedule.