Air India curtails India-US operations due to 5G roll-out

New Delhi, Jan 19: National carrier Air India will not be able to operate a number of US-bound flights on Wednesday (January 19), the airline said. Accordingly, the airline informed passengers via its official Twitter handle that it will not be able to operate the Delhi-JFK-Delhi and Mumbai-EWR-Mumbai flights amongst others on Wednesday.

The deployment of 5G communications in the US has been cited as the cause for flight cancellations. However, in another tweet, the airline said that it will operate the flight to Washington DC from Delhi by AI103 on Wednesday.

As per industry insiders, the 5G network deployment might cause certain crucial flight instruments to malfunction. “FlyAI: Due to deployment of 5G communications in USA, our operations to USA from India stand curtailed/revised with change in aircraft type from 19th January 2022,” the airline tweeted.

Not just Air India – on the eve of a 5G wireless rollout that triggered safety concerns, despite two wireless carriers saying they will delay parts of the deployment – major international airlines had rushed on Tuesday to rejig or cancel flights to the United States.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has warned that potential 5G interference could affect height readings that play a key role in bad-weather landings on some jets and airlines say the Boeing 777 is among models initially in the spotlight. Despite an announcement by AT&T and Verizon that they would delay turning on some 5G towers near airports, several airlines still canceled flights. Others said more cancellations were likely unless the FAA issued new formal guidance in the wake of the wireless announcements.

The world’s largest operator of the Boeing 777, Dubai`s Emirates, said it would suspend flights to nine U.S. destinations from January 19, the planned date for the deployment of 5G wireless services. Emirates flights to New York`s JFK, Los Angeles, and Washington DC will continue to operate. Japan’s two major airlines, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, said they would curtail Boeing 777 flights.

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