More than 5,000 flights across the US have been cancelled due to tropical storm Harvey which has devastated Houston, Texas in south-central USA. Figures from FlightAware show that United Airlines and Southwest Airlines had the most cancellations on Monday, with 463 and 331 respectively. Other airlines were also hit with ExpressJet Airlines (253 cancellations), Mesa Airlines (202) and Republic Airlines (103) rounding out the top five affected airlines. The cancellations are expected to have a domino effect across the entire US network.

The FAA has advised that "[d]ue to WEATHER/HURRICANE HARVEY, the George Bush Intercontinental/Houston Airport (IAH) was closed as of August 27 at 10:24 AM CDT. The date/time when the airport is expected to reopen is August 31 at 12:00 PM CDT." Houston Hobby and Beaumont are also closed.

A spokesman for the Houston Airport System, Bill Begley, said that a definite date to reopen was not set as there were a number of safety concerns that must be addressed, reports the Houston Business Journal. "There is a whole list of boxes that need to be checked 'yes'," Begley said.

Around 700 passengers who were stranded at Houston Intc'l and Hobby were able to fly out on Sunday aboard specially approved flights, although 100 – most of them local to the area – still remained stranded as at August 28.

During normal operations, Houston Intercontinental has a weekly capacity of more than 440,000 seats on 3,785 flights, while Hobby's weekly seat capacity is 162,520. Hobby also serves a crew base for Southwest and is its seventh busiest hub by capacity.