HomeNewsForeign Airlines Cancel Some U.S. Flights Over 5G Concerns

Foreign Airlines Cancel Some U.S. Flights Over 5G Concerns

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Due to concerns over 5G rollouts, some foreign airlines—such as Emirates, Japan Airlines, and ANA—are canceling flights to the U.S.

“Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused,” the airline said on Tuesday. “We are working closely with aircraft manufacturers and the relevant authorities to alleviate operational concerns. And we hope to resume our US services as soon as possible.”

For now, Emirates will only suspend flights into San Francisco, Dallas Fort Worth, Orlando, Seattle, Miami, Newark, Houston, Chicago, and Boston. But service into JFK, LAX, and Washington DC will continue.

However, Japan Airlines will ground all Boeing 777 flights into the states until further notice. Major cell providers plan to switch on their C-band 5G signals tomorrow (Jan. 19th). And the company fears that those signals “may interfere with the radio wave altimeter installed on the Boeing 777.”

The airline will attempt to move passengers to a Boeing 787 plane. But when that isn’t possible, the flights will be canceled.

ANA, which also operates out of Japan, will follow the same protocol.

Why Major Airlines are Concerned Over 5G Rollout

On Monday, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration warned that 5G service may cause significant and dangerous travel disruption. The signals can interfere with sensitive equipment used on certain aircraft. Particularly, the 5G could jam radio altimeters, which measure the craft’s distance from the ground.

Because of the obvious safety concerns, airlines have been asking the White House to step in and force cell providers to alter their plans. But so far, the government has decided to stay out of the battle.

The CEOs of American, Delta, Southwest, and United Airlines wrote a letter to White House officials saying 5G signals could cause a “catastrophic” aviation crisis. In the end, they may have to cancel thousands of flights. And because of that, U.S. citizens could be stranded overseas.

“Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially be grounded,” the CEOs claimed. Four other airlines also signed the warning.

Those same airlines asked cell providers to postpone their 5G rollouts. But AT&T and Verizon said they would follow through with their launches. However, they agreed to make some modifications.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson with AT&T said the company will “temporarily defer turning on a limited number of towers around certain airport runways.”

But she added frustration over the fact that the Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t “utilized the two years they’ve had to responsibly plan for this deployment.”

“We are frustrated by the FAA’s inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services. And we urge it to do so in a timely manner,” the company said in a statement.