Flight cancellations as Hurricane Beryl heads to the Caribbean

As Hurricane Beryl heads for the southeast Caribbean, UK airlines are cancelling flights – with one Virgin Atlantic plane departing from Barbados five hours early on Sunday to avoid the approaching storm.

At 4am British time on Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center said: “Beryl still a very dangerous category 4 hurricane.

“Life-threatening winds and storm surge expected to begin soon for portions of the Windward Islands.”

Winds of up to 130mph are predicted as Hurricane Beryl moves west.

Colin McCarthy, an extreme weather scientist, posted: “Hurricane Beryl has just become the first June category 4 Atlantic hurricane in history. We have never seen such a strong hurricane this early in the season.”

The National Hurricane Center said: “A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadine Islands, and Grenada.

“A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

“Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.”

In addition, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Martinique and Trinidad.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “Due to adverse weather conditions expected from Hurricane Beryl, we are working with the relevant airports and partners to minimise disruption to our services, however some flights are subject to delays and cancellations due to the closure of Barbados airport.

“We are contacting affected customers regarding their travel arrangements. We’d like to thank them for their patience and understanding and recommend that all customers due to travel to or from Barbados airport over the next 48 hours check the status of their flight on virginatlantic.com before going to the airport.

“The safety and comfort of our customers and people is always our top priority.”

The Sunday shuttle between Barbados and St Vincent was cancelled, and the London Heathrow-Barbados-St Vincent round trip on Monday has been grounded.

British Airways has cancelled its flight from Gatwick to St Lucia and Georgetown in Guyana on Monday. BA says it will be monitoring the situation and only operating when it is safe to do so.