HOUSTON_Commercial airlines resumed service Sunday at Houston airports that were shut down Friday before Hurricane Rita landed.
Houston's main airports, Bush Intercontinental and Hobby, were not significantly damaged as the storm shifted east and skirted the city, airline officials said.
Southwest Airlines Co. and Continental Airlines Inc. said they resumed flights from Dallas to Houston on Sunday morning.
Many Continental flights into Houston Sunday were sold out and only a few seats remained Monday, a reservations agent said. The Houston-based airline planned to operate 249 departures from Houston on Sunday. Sister carriers Continental Express and Continental Connection expected to resume Houston flights Monday.
Southwest also planned to resume service to New Orleans' Louis Armstrong Airport and to Corpus Christi later Sunday morning, said spokeswoman Edna Ruano.
Ruano said Southwest was warning passengers that flights could be canceled and that availability of taxis, buses and hotel rooms in Houston was limited. All the carriers said passengers should call before going to the airport to make sure their flight is still scheduled.
American Airlines and American Eagle, both units of Fort Worth-based AMR Corp., scheduled their first flights into Houston since late Thursday for shortly after noon on Sunday, spokesman Billy Sanez said.
American did not suspend service into New Orleans, which was reduced after damage caused by Hurricane Katrina last month, he said.
On the Net:
Continental Airlines: http://www.continental.com
Southwest Airlines: http://www.southwest.com
American Airlines: http://www.aa.com
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Continental Airlines Inc. said Wednesday it plans to resume flights to New Orleans on Monday, and Southwest Airlines Inc. says it will announce a startup date in the next few days.
With the airports in New Orleans and Miss. closed to commercial traffic, airlines that serve the popular destinations face a loss of business.
The storm caused a a surge in oil prices, forced the closure of several airports and caused scores of flight cancellations throughout the Gulf Coast region Monday.