Hundreds of New York- location flights postponed as Canada wildfire smoke cuts presence

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Smoke from Canada’s wildfires blanketed New York City on Wednesday, June 7, 2023.

Leslie Josephs/ CNBC

Smoke from wildfires in Canada postponed hundreds flights at New York- location airports and in Philadelphia on Wednesday as haze blanketed the area and cut presence.

Earlier, the FAA briefly stopped flights bound for New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

“The agency will adjust the volume of traffic to account for the rapidly changing conditions,” the FAA stated.

Smoke wandering south from wildfires in Canada covered the New York City location on Tuesday into Wednesday, polluting air quality and sending out citizens inside. As of midday Wednesday, the city ranked 4th on the planet for worst air quality, with an IQAir World Air Quality Index of 158, a level thought about unhealthy for all citizens.

As of about 9: 20 p.m. ET, more than 4,800 U.S. flights were postponed, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.

At LaGuardia Airport, 230 departures, 40% of the day’s schedule, were postponed as were 264 incoming flights, or 46%, according to FlightAware. Nearly a 3rd of flights bound for Newark Liberty International Airport were postponed, or 204 flights, and another 186 departures were running behind.

Flights to LaGuardia were postponed approximately about 2 hours throughout the afternoon, and flights to Newark were postponed approximately 82 minutes, the FAA stated. New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport likewise reported both arrival and departure hold-ups.

Nearly 670 United Airlines flights, 24% of its schedule were postponed. Newark is among the provider’s significant centers.

United stated in a declaration it was “monitoring the situation closely and looking out for the safety of our employees who work outside, and adjusting our schedule where needed.”

A representative for Delta Air Lines informed CNBC that the provider has protective devices for personnel.

“And for those who work on the tarmac, we’re having them come inside to where breakrooms are in between aircraft turns,” the spokesperson stated. “We are also watching the forecasts which call for rain in NYC in the days ahead which should improve the air quality.”

An American Airlines representative stated the business is ensuring ramp employees have access to automobiles in between flights in addition to other products like water and masks.

— CNBC’s Emma Newburger added to this report.