Air Canada and WestJet are warning passengers their flights may be delayed or cancelled in the coming days as the East Coast gets pummelled by a winter storm. 

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I., and a special weather statement for Newfoundland and Labrador.

The storm is also expected to hit the eastern United States, including Boston, and bring high winds and snow Thursday and into Friday. 

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, there were 17 delayed flights and six cancelled flights coming into Ottawa for both Wednesday and Thursday travel days. 

Possible disruptions

Air Canada's website notes there could be possible disruptions to flights from Jan. 3 to Jan. 6 due to strong winds and snow.

"We have put in place an advisory for eastern Canada and the U.S. northeast over the next several days," wrote Peter Fitzpatrick, Air Canada's communications manager, in an email. "Air Canada has revised its ticketing policy for customers booked on affected flights to facilitate changes to bookings."

Fitzpatrick added that passengers who want to make different travel arrangements will be able to do so without penalty using the company's online booking system, as long as there's space on alternate flights. 

WestJet has issued a similar advisory to its customers, with a winter storm system expected to affect flights in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick. P.E.I., Boston and the New York area.