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Philadelphia, NYC flights delayed; wildfire smoke hurting visibility


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is delaying flights to New York City-area and Philadelphia airports Thursday, saying wildfire smoke from Canada was reducing visibility and impacting U.S. flights.

The agency said it was delaying flights into New York City’s LaGuardia Airport with delays averaging 54 minutes after it had earlier halted some flights into the airport. Visibility issues are also delaying flights at nearby Newark Liberty Airport. The FAA warned it might also need take steps to delay traffic into Washington and Charlotte, North Carolina. Earlier the FAA had temporarily halted flights to LaGuardia and Philadelphia from the U.S. northeast, Ohio and Mid-Atlantic.

United Airlines said it is waiving change fees and fare differences for passengers wishing to reschedule trips Thursday and Friday for cities impacted by smoky conditions including New York, Buffalo, Washington, Philadelphia, Syracuse, New York; Hartford, Connecticut and Columbus, Ohio.

Hundreds of forest fires in Canada have led to a blanket of smoky air, triggering health alarms in U.S. cities.

(Reporting by David ShepardsonEditing by Peter Graff and Chizu Nomiyama)

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