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Updated: Thu, 09 Jan 2014 11:12:03 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Air Canada extends winter travel alert for Central, Atlantic Canada



Travellers line up after dozens of flights were cancelled or delayed by Sunday's ice storm at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Monday December 23, 2013. J.P. Moczulski/Canadian Press

Travellers line up after dozens of flights were cancelled or delayed by Sunday's ice storm at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Monday December 23, 2013. J.P. Moczulski/Canadian Press

Air Canada extended a travel alert affecting airports in Central and Atlantic Canada, warning passengers today to expect flight cancellations and delays.

The travel alert affects Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, St. John's and several U.S. northeast airports, including Boston and New York.

Air Canada says it's still in the process of clearing the backlog after a winter storm hit the area earlier this week, wreaking havoc on travel throughout the region, and leaving some passengers stranded and sleeping at various airports for days. More than 600 flights were cancelled at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Tuesday, creating a domino effect at airports across Canada.

The airline warned the disruptions could affect Air Canada flights and Air Canada Express flights operated by Jazz because of "winter operational conditions."

Porter Airlines issued a weather advisory for St. John's on Thursday morning, saying passengers may face delays and cancellations.

Travel backlog in Toronto clearing

But the travel backlog plaguing Pearson, the country's busiest airport, appeared to be clearing Thursday morning. About three per cent of arrivals and just a handful of departures were cancelled.

"The lineups at security ... are absolutely huge today. But when you look at the numbers of flight cancellations today, it does look like an airport that's getting back to normal," the CBC's Lorenda Reddekopp said from the airport.

"We've got a lot of travellers who still are very frustrated with all of the various situations that they've had to deal with over the past few days."

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzgerald asked passengers to be patient.

"Because of the icing conditions on the ramp, it makes it hard and slow to get the bags off [the planes]," he said. "So what happens is a lot of bags do miss connections with other flights."

Passengers are advised to check their flight status before heading to the airport.

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