Asian airlines have canceled or changed flights to avoid Taiwan’s airspace as China continues to conduct live-fire drills around Taiwan in a diplomatic retaliation move against the United States.
Malaysia Airlines said on Friday it had canceled flights to and from Taipei on Saturday, rescheduling flights to Japan and South Korea to avoid airspace affected by China’s military exercises.
“The route change will result in additional flight time on certain legs,” the airline told local news outlets. Peeingadded that it will continue to “avoid restricted areas” as described in its Notice of Air Missions (NOTAMS).
Korean Air, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International (THAI) have also canceled flights to Taipei to avoid China’s military exercises. Thai Airways said it had rerouted flights to Japan and South Korea by flying over the Philippines.
Vietnam’s administration said 118 flights operated by Vietnam Airlines and VietJet have been delayed or rerouted due to military exercises, but flights to Taiwan continue to operate. Local report.
Japanese airlines continue to operate flights to Taipei, but avoid the affected airspace on those flights, and on routes to Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific and Philippine Airlines followed suit.
China warns airlines
China reportedly warned Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which angered the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), prompted Asian airlines to avoid flying in areas designated as “danger zones” on Tuesday.
In response, Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport announced that it would cancel 51 international flights scheduled for Thursday.
The Chinese military began live-fire drills in waters around Taiwan on Thursday. This was the largest military exercise ever conducted by the Chinese across the Taiwan Strait. It includes joint naval, air and missile forces and operates in her six regions around Taiwan.
Taiwanese lawmaker Wang Tingyu said such an operation would constitute an invasion of Taiwan’s territorial waters if Chinese forces moved across the training ground.
“If they send fighter planes or warships into our territorial waters, it means China has invaded our territory, and we will have standard operating procedures in place to respond,” Wang said. told Axios.
“We don’t want to cause conflict here, but we have a duty to protect our homes from anyone who wants to invade our country, our homes.”
Andrew Thornebrooke and Reuters contributed to this report.