Houston Intercontinental Airport Closed Through Thursday, All Flights Cancelled

Aug 28, 2017

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Hurricane Harvey is still dumping unprecedented amounts of rain on eastern Texas. To put it in perspective, so much rain has fallen that the National Weather Service has had to adjust the colors on its precipitation graphics:

With flood waters covering runways at Houston’s Hobby airport (HOU), it was quickly shut down and not scheduled to reopen until Wednesday morning. Before it does, inspections will have to be conducted to ensure that the runways aren’t compromised by the floodwaters. That said, the closed airport was able to handle five extraordinary flights Sunday night as Southwest airlifted nearly 500 customers out of the flood-ravaged airport.

Meanwhile, Houston’s larger George Bush Intercontinental Airport was scheduled to reopen Monday at noon Central time. Considering the airport has received less flooding from Harvey, this didn’t seem unreasonable. However, an update on the Federal Aviation Administration website Monday morning shows a new reopen date: 12:00PM CDT Thursday. The airport is open only to military and relief flights.

United Airlines, which has one if its biggest hubs at IAH, is particularly affected by this closure. With approximately 483 daily departures from IAH to destinations worldwide, United’s network is crippled by the closure. However, there is at least one United flight landing at Bush: the airline’s original 777-300ER (the first with Polaris seats), which at the time of this writing is enroute to IAH with relief supplies, operating as UA2748.

According to FlightAware data, this flight is currently the only flight operating to/from IAH with a commercial flight number:

FlightAware IAH map

Over at Hobby, Southwest is the airline that’s most affected by the airport closure. After the five flights out Sunday night, Southwest has around ten aircraft and an unknown amount of customers stranded at Hobby. All of Southwest’s 152 daily flights from HOU are cancelled for both Monday and Tuesday.

Click here for our coverage of Hurricane Harvey.

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