Atlanta-based Delta said it will also delay its evening flights in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is planning to assess facilities after the storm passes.
The airline didn't have any flights scheduled to St. Maarten on Wednesday, and was assessing infrastructure there to determine when to resume flights, according to Delta spokesman Michael Thomas.
He said Delta also canceled flights to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands for Wednesday and expected to soon cancel flights to the Bahamas. Some other airports in the Caribbean were expected to close Wednesday evening.
Delta said its team of meteorologists expects the storm to begin curving north late Saturday afternoon, passing between Cuba and the Bahamas toward the southern tip of Florida. The airline said its strategic planners are working with employees at airports along the storm's path.
"Preparations are underway," said Delta's chief financial officer Paul Jacobson during remarks at an investor conference Wednesday. "This looks like a big storm and we're hopeful the damage can be kept to a minimum."
Southwest Airlines, the second-largest carrier at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, is cancelling flights to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and San Juan on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
Dallas-based Southwest is also cancelling flights scheduled for Friday and Saturday to Nassau and Havana.
Southwest said it will cancel all flights through Saturday to and from Fort Lauderdale, Ft. Myers and West Palm Beach.
Hartsfield-Jackson is advising travelers to monitor their airline's communications channels.
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Hurricane Irma: Here is a list of items for a last-minute preparation kit Delta and Southwest are cancelling flights in the Caribbean due to Hurricane Irma.
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