In view of the ongoing Chinese military drills near the Taiwanese borders, several airlines are now either cancelling their flights or diverting their route in order to avoid any untoward situation. The major South Korean airlines — Korean Air Lines and Asiana Airlines — announced to cancel their flights to Taiwan for two days. On their official Twitter handle, Korean Air Lines informed flights to Incheon-Taipei — KE691 and KE692 — have been cancelled due to the temporary restrictions. Besides, Singapore Airlines also cancelled its Friday flights between Singapore and Taipei due to evolving airspace restrictions.
Incheon-Taipei flight cancel notice (Aug 05, Aug 06)
KE691, KE692 is cancelled due to the temporary restriction of the airway route.
Please check the flight status for Incheon-Taipei flight.
✅ Flight statushttps://t.co/HDJbPEWrJg pic.twitter.com/MiaYxrXZBh — Korean Air (@KoreanAir_KE) August 5, 2022
However, major Japanese airlines — Japan’s ANA Holdings Inc and Japan Airlines Co Ltd– are still operating flights to Taipei as normal, despite the Japanese Defence Ministry confirming that five of the missiles fired by China landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone off Hateruma on Thursday. Similarly, Emirates — one of two flag carriers of the United Arab Emirates — also chose to continue their flights to Taiwan. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said its flights were avoiding designated airspace zones around Taiwan. The major development came as the Chinese government had warned Taiwan of a dramatic situation for allowing US Speaker Nancy Pelosi to visit Taipei despite a staunch warning. After Pelosi left Taiwan, China announced to conduct its largest-ever military drills near Taiwan borders to showcase its military might.
In wake of the development, Taiwan announced to cancel flights on Thursday. Also, China issued a warning to ships and planes to avoid the region where the Chinese soldiers are conducting military drills. Subsequently, at least 40 flights to and from Taiwan were cancelled, according to the China Times newspaper. It cited Taoyuan Airport in the capital, Taipei, as saying cancellations were “not necessarily” related to the military drills.
Pelosi says China ‘cannot stop’ US officials from visiting Taiwan
It is crucial to note here that the Chinese government had warned Taiwan of a dramatic situation for allowing Pelosi to visit Taipei. On Wednesday, it sent at least 27 aircraft to Taiwan’s air defence identification zone (IZ) hours after Pelosi’s plane left Taipei. Addressing a press conference on August 3, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying dubbed Pelosi’s visit “unhealthy” for “democracy” and added her visit only provoked and violated China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. However, Pelosi issued a statement describing her tour as a “strong statement that America stands with Taiwan.” She said that her visit is part of broader travels in the Indo-Pacific, focused on security, prosperity and governance – on which Taiwan is a global leader. During the final leg of her tour, Pelosi said Beijing will not isolate Taiwan by preventing US officials from travelling there and five other members of Congress arrived in Tokyo late on Thursday.