Air India, Emirates And Others Cancel Flights To Us Over 5g Rollout Concerns.

Air India, Emirates, Japan Airlines, and other airline companies have canceled flights to the US owing to concerns related to the 5G rollout by AT&T and Verizon.


HIGHLIGHTS--


  • Air India and other airlines have cancelled flights to US.

  • The airline companies have said that the flights are being suspended until further notice.

  • Japan Airlines said that the 5G rollout will interfere with the radio wave altimeter installed on the Boeing 777.


Airlines have dropped flights or switched planes to certain US cities, with emphasis on 777 aircraft.


On Tuesday, Emirates, Air India, ANA, and Japan Airlines all announced that they were cancelling some flights to the US due to this week’s rollout of C-band 5G over concerns it could potentially interfere with some instruments, particularly on Boeing 777 aircraft.



This comes as cell carriers, federal agencies, airlines, and airplane manufacturers struggle to reach an agreement on policies regarding how the rollout should be handled.


The situation has continued to evolve as AT&T and Verizon switch on their c-band, but it’s only gotten messier.


Air India, Emirates, Japan Airlines and other airline companies have cancelled flights to the US owing to concerns related to the 5G rollout by AT&T and Verizon.


“Due to deployment of 5G communications in the USA, our operations to the USA from India stand curtailed/revised with change in aircraft type from 19th January 2022,” Air India informed via Tweet. Emirates also informed the flyers about the change in schedule via a similar tweet.


The company announced that it is “suspending flights to the following US destinations from 19 January 2022 until further notice.” Emirates has suspended its flights to Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Miami, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco, and Seattle.


However, Emirates announced that flights into JFK, LAX and Washington DC will continue as normal.


However, Japan Airlines changed its guidance on Wednesday, saying it “received confirmation from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) that there is no longer a problem with the operation of the Boeing 777 and we will resume service to the U.S. mainland with Boeing 777 from January 20.”


ANA has updated its advisory with similar language, saying that it’s returning to “the normal schedule based on FAA notification that there is no safety issue with the operation of Boeing 777 aircraft to the U.S. airports that we serve.”


However, Emirates and Air India haven’t changed their guidance, and the FAA hasn’t publicly released an updated statement. The 777 isn’t currently on the regulator’s list of cleared aircraft.


Previously, the CEO of the major US airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines had warned about the impending dangers of the 5G rollout.


The CEOs had said that the deployment of new 5G spectrum will cause “catastrophic disruption” to flights operating across the country.


The letter from the CEOs which was obtained by Reuters noted that commercial and cargo flights would be affected due to the 5G rollout.


EMIRATES SAYS IT’S “WORKING CLOSELY WITH AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURERS AND THE RELEVANT AUTHORITIES”

More airlines were affected as Tuesday progressed. Reuters reports that Taiwan’s China Airlines will reschedule some flights, while South Korea’s Korean Air Lines switched away from Boeing’s 777 and 747-8 aircraft on six flights to the US, and Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific says it’s prepared to use different planes if necessary.

Lufthansa had canceled at least one US flight and was switching from the Boeing 747-8 to the 747-400 aircraft on some US routes. Air India, Singapore Airlines, and Austrian Airlines were also switching out 777 aircraft for US flights.


“We are launching our advanced 5G services everywhere else as planned with the temporary exception of this limited number of towers,” the telecom company was quoted by AFP as saying. Verizon also announced that it has voluntarily decided to limit its 5G network around airports.


As per the Wall Street Journal, airports like Chicago O’Hare, Orlando International, Los Angeles International, and Dallas/Fort Worth International are included on the list, as well as airports in locations that are often impacted by foggy conditions like Seattle/Tacoma International and San Francisco International.


The FAA has noted that the two telecom majors have agreed to turn off their 5G transmitters at these specific buffer zones for six months, which should “minimize potential 5G interference with sensitive aircraft instruments used in low-visibility landings.” You can read our full explainer on the whole situation here.