August 16, 2022

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Airlines cancel and reroute flights as China fires live missiles at exercises near Taiwan

Airlines cancel and reroute flights as China fires live missiles at exercises near Taiwan

SEOUL (Reuters) – Airlines have canceled flights to Taipei and rerouted others to avoid nearby airspace that has been closed to civilian traffic during Chinese military exercises sparked by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

China deployed dozens of live aircraft and missiles near Taiwan on Thursday in its largest-ever exercise in the Taiwan Strait, which is set to run until noon local time (0400 GMT) on Sunday in six areas encircling most of the island. Read more

The airspace in question is relatively small, but the disruption caused by China’s largest military exercises in the region since it launched missiles off the coast in 1996 is hampering travel between Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia.

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Temporary airspace closures and course changes during major military exercises occur regularly around the world.

This situation is unusual in that the Chinese exercises divide 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) of territorial waters claimed by Taiwan – something Taiwanese officials say defies international order and amounts to a blockade of its sea and airspace. Read more

Korean Air Co., Ltd. (003490.KS) and Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIAL.SI) They said they canceled flights to and from Taipei on Friday due to the exercises, and Korean Air also canceled flights on Saturday and postponed flights on Sunday.

Japanese company ANA Holdings (9202.T) and Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (9201.T) Airline spokesmen said flights to Taipei were still operating as normal, but they were avoiding affected airspace on those flights, as well as on routes to Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.

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Cathay Pacific Airways Limited in Hong Kong (0293.HK) Philippine Airlines said their flights are avoiding designated airspace areas around Taiwan, in a move that could lead to more flight time for some flights, while Vietnam’s aviation regulator warned its airlines to avoid the area. Read more

Flight tracking service FlightRadar24 has offered Taiwanese airlines China Airlines Ltd (2610.TW) and eva airline (2618.TW) It was still flying to and from the island as of Friday morning, as were FedEx Corp. carriers (FDX.N) and United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N)Although areas affected by military exercises were avoided.

Emirates Airlines, United Airlines Holding Company (UAL.O) Flightradar24 showed that Turkish Airlines and Turkish Airlines flights were en route to Taipei on Friday morning local time.

Taiwan, along with mainland China and Hong Kong, is one of the few places in the world that still requires quarantine for arrivals due to COVID-19, which has resulted in lower demand for travel to the island meaning there are far fewer flights than before. the epidemic.

OPSGROUP, an aviation industry cooperative that shares information on aviation risks, said the exercises would affect major routes between Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia, rerouting the route that could take longer and burn additional fuel.

However, the airspace in question is minimal in its impact on the global aviation industry compared to the decision of most airlines to bypass flying over other places such as Russia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, North Korea, Iraq and Syria.

Avoiding Russian airspace, for example, has resulted in a nearly four-hour increase in flight times between Finland and Japan. Read more

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Taiwan said on Wednesday that it is negotiating with neighbors Japan and the Philippines to find alternative flight routes, the official Central News Agency reported. Read more

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(Additional reporting by Joyce Lee in Seoul and Jimmy Freed in Sydney; Additional reporting by Maki Shiraki in Tokyo, Neil Jerome Morales in Manila, Khan Foo in Hanoi and Tueni Siu in Hong Kong; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.