Wildfire Smoke Expected to Hit U.S. for Travel Weekend. Expect Airport Chaos.

News Room

Smoke from wildfires in Canada will be turning New York City skies orange again, adding to severe weather that is already disrupting airlines ahead of the busy travel weekend. 

The fumes will blow across the state and create unhealthy air quality in the city by Thursday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said. She urged New Yorkers to take precautions. Chicago, home to O’Hare Airport which is one of the busiest in the U.S., was worst hit in terms of air quality. It ranked third worst in the world, according to IQAir, a site monitoring air quality.

That comes on top of severe weather across much of the U.S. that led to thousands of flight delays and cancellations on Tuesday. Newark, LaGuardia and JFK airports already topped lists for the number of flights canceled Wednesday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.

The South is suffering a record-setting heat wave that is stressing power grids. The heat is predicted to spread from Texas across the country, from Arizona to Florida —engulfing the region ahead of the July Fourth holiday weekend.

It’s typically one of the busiest travel weekends of the year so the disruption could not come at a worse time. More than 50 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles, according to the AAA, beating the prepandemic level set in 2019.

United Airlines
(ticker: UAL) had the most cancellations on Wednesday with 272. Its stock was little changed in premarket trading.
(JBLU) had 81 cancellations, and shares were also little changed.
Delta Air
(DAL) 58 and
American Airlines
(AAL) 31.

Travelers have experienced more than 1,040 flight cancellations and close to 599 delays as of 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Write to Brian Swint at [email protected]

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