January 4, 2018 12:39 pm
Updated: January 5, 2018 12:22 am

‘Bomb cyclone’ leaves thousands of flights in Canada and U.S. delayed or cancelled

WATCH ABOVE: A winter storm has covered the east coast with heavy snow and pounded the region with hurricane force winds. Schools were closed, travel on the roads was treacherous and travel by air nearly impossible.

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Air Canada and WestJet are urging those travelling during the “bomb cyclone” winter storm to keep an eye on flight information, amid delays and cancellations hitting several airports along East Coast.

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LIVE UPDATES: Powerful ‘bomb cyclone’ targets Maritimes, U.S. East Coast

The storm, which is bringing heavy snow and hurricane-strength winds, is threatening the U.S. East Coast and Atlantic Canada, and is expected to last into Friday.

Dozens of flights have already been cancelled at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Marine Atlantic also cancelled sailings between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

READ MORE: Satellites capture vivid images of ‘bomb cyclone’ as it moves toward Canada

Here’s what to know if you have air travel plans:

Canadian airlines warn of delays, cancellations

WATCH: The first major winter storm of 2018 bore down on the U.S. Northeast on Thursday, closing schools and government offices and disrupting travel 

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick told Global News that the airline is monitoring weather conditions and whether airports in Eastern Canada and the U.S. Northeast continue to operate.

The airline has already cancelled some flights for today along the storm’s path, and has informed the affected customers.

READ MORE: Bomb cyclone? What’s next for Eastern Canada’s brutally cold winter

Fitzpatrick added that Air Canada has “put in place a flexible rebooking policy for customers so they can change their travel plans over the next several days.”

“Our aim is to move customers who still wish to travel as soon as we can safely do so,” he said.

Passengers flying Air Canada can find updates and advisories on the company’s website.

WATCH: Eastern Canada is about to get even colder thanks to a ‘bomb cyclone’

Similarly, WestJet is also warning passengers that cancellations and delays may occur Thursday and Friday. Several of the airline’s flights to Toronto have already been cancelled.

WestJet told Global News the following cities may be affected in Newfoundland and Labrador: St. John’s, Deer Lake, Cornerbrook, and Gander. Travellers flying to other cities — Boston, New York, Halifax, Fredericton, Moncton, Sydney and Charlottetown — should also keep an eye on updates.

The airline has implemented its flexible rescheduling rules amid the active weather.

Porter Airlines also posted on its website that flights to Saint John, Fredericton, Halifax, Boston, Moncton, N.B., and Newark, N.J. may be cancelled or delayed.

U.S. flights, trains have revised schedules

Thousands of flights at major U.S. airports such as Boston’s Logan International Airport have been cancelled, while several other airports have disrupted schedules.

All flights have been suspended at New York’s John F. Kennedy and La Guardia Airports.

Major U.S. airlines such as United and Delta have issued warnings that weather will impact service. Delta announced Thursday afternoon that it had cancelled about 750 mainline and connection flights, and has several disruptions on other trips.

Amtrak plans to operate a modified train schedule between New York and Boston on Thursday. Northeast Regional Service between Washington, D.C., and Newport News/Norfolk, Virginia, has been cancelled for Thursday.

WATCH: Maritimes brace for intense winter storm, hurricane-force winds

What to expect from the weather

The travel warnings come as parts of North America are being hit with a massive winter storm being dubbed the “bomb cyclone.”

Global News meteorologist Ross Hull explains Atlantic Canada will be hit by heavy snow, with New Brunswick expected to get about 40 centimetres of the white stuff.

READ MORE: Storm closures in Nova Scotia as severe winter weather predicted for province

The biggest concern arising out of this storm will be the winds that will batter the coasts of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Newfoundland.

“We’re talking hurricane-force winds for coastal Nova Scotia, where some exposed areas could see gusts up to 140 km/h on Thursday,” Hull said.

WATCH: Storm blows roof off New Jersey gas station

As the system heads out, Hull said all of Eastern Canada will be “plunged into a deep freeze.” With wind chill factored in, it will feel between -30 and -40 later this week and into the weekend.

— With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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