Tuesday 17 May 2022

US 5G rollout: Top Gulf carriers, BA, Air India cancel some flights

LONDON, January 19, 2022

Major international airlines including Gulf carriers Emirates and Qatar Airways, Air India, British Airways, Japan Airlines and Korean Air have canceled flights to the US amid concerns over 5G deployments planned by AT&T and Verizon.
The action is in response to fears that the activation of the C-band strand of the mobile phone service near American airports on Wednesday could disrupt planes' navigation systems, said media reports.
Boeing 777s are thought to be particularly at risk of being affected.
The rollout has gone ahead with 4,500 towers across the country but 500 towers that are near 88 unspecified airports are not being turned on due to fears the frequencies they emit could interfere with aircraft radar technology.
With this new development, flights to some of the popular US cities, including San Francisco, Dallas Fort Worth, Orlando, Seattle, Miami, Newark, Houston, Chicago, and Boston have been affected. 
The airline companies have said that the flights are being suspended until further notice, stated the reports.
“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. 
British Airways is among the European airlines which cancelled US flights over fears the 5G rollout could impact navigation systems onboard some incoming planes, reported The Daily Mail.
Airlines across Asia and several in the Middle East and Europe said they were cancelling some flights or switching models, with much of the initial disruption hitting the Boeing 777, for decades a workhorse of long-distance air travel.
Dubai carrier Emirates too informed the flyers about the change in schedule via a similar tweet. 
Infact it was among top international carriers which rushed to rejig or cancel US flights ahead of a 5G wireless rollout today (January 19) that has triggered safety concerns, despite two wireless carriers saying they will delay parts of the deployment, reported Arab News.
Meanwhile, UAE’s Etihad Airways is currently operating flights to New York, Washington DC and Chicago via the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Also Qatar Airways, another carrier from the GCC which operates both 777s and A350s to the US, is still operating as normal while evaluating the situation.
The Kingdom's national carrier Saudia Airlines, didn't announce any reaction to the situation yet.


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