Breaking News
Close
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

5G flight disruption eases as Emirates blasts U.S. rollout

Stock MarketsJan 19, 2022 23:05
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Emirates Airline Boeing 777-300ER planes are seen at Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Christopher Pike/File Photo

By David Shepardson, Tim Hepher and Jamie Freed

(Reuters) -Disruption to U.S.-bound air travel caused by the rollout of 5G services in the United States eased on Wednesday as authorities approved more flights, but a top airline warned "irresponsible" regulatory confusion would be felt internationally for days.

Airlines and telecom companies have been at loggerheads over the deployment of 5G mobile services over concerns that the powerful signals could interfere with airplane systems.

Carriers across Asia, the Middle East and Europe cancelled flights to the United States or switched planes at the last minute on Tuesday and Wednesday, disrupting travel for thousands of passengers, over safety concerns caused by the 5G deployment.

But Japanese carriers said late on Wednesday they would restore cancelled flights and U.S. airlines said thousands of planes were operating normally after two telecom carriers agreed to delay the rollout at key airports.

The decision late on Tuesday by AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) Communications to delay switching on new telecom masts near key airports, just hours ahead of a wider U.S. rollout, came too late to avoid a ripple of cancellations.

Much of the initial disruption hit the Boeing (NYSE:BA) 777, for decades a workhorse of long-distance air travel.

Dubai's Emirates, the world's largest international passenger carrier and the largest 777 operator, hit out at "mixed messages" as it suspended nine U.S. destinations.

The airline's longstanding president Tim Clark told CNN it had not been aware of the extent of the safety concerns until Tuesday and let rip at what he called it "one of the most delinquent, utterly irresponsible" episodes in his career.

Some 32,000 Emirates passengers over the next three days "will be completely inconvenienced as a result of flight cancellations," Clark said, adding the message about safety risks had "got through at a very, very late stage".

United Airlines, by contrast, said it was forecasting only "minor disruptions" due to remaining 5G restrictions.

International carriers are particularly exposed because of the lead time needed to prepare flights and pre-position crews ready to fly intercontinental jets home, experts said.

"The last-minute postponement happened too late to stop the crews being sent out for today's (return) flight. It just made it a nightmare," said a pilot with a major European airline.

Shares in European long-haul carriers fell by 3-4%, underperforming slightly weaker shares in U.S. airlines.

INTERFERENCE

U.S. airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration have warned that the 5G frequencies and transmission strength being deployed in the United States could interfere with radio altimeter readings needed for bad-weather landings on some jets.

Radio altimeters must give clear data on the height above the ground on approach to help with automated landings and also verify that a jet has landed before allowing reverse thrust.

U.S. President Joe Biden said he had "pushed as hard I can to have the 5G folks hold up and abide by what was being requested by the airlines until they could more modernize over the years -- so 5G would not interfere with the potential of a landing".

Boeing said it was working with all parties on a "data-driven solution for the long-term".

Its 777 was last year the second-most used widebody plane on flights to and from U.S. airports with around 210,000 flights, behind the older 767, according to data from FlightRadar24.

European regulators say no risks have been found elsewhere.

The Federal Aviation Administration is frantically reviewing guidance on which airports and planes are affected.

On Wednesday, it said it had issued new approvals allowing some 62% of U.S. commercial airplanes to perform low-visibility landings at airports where 5G is deployed, up from 45% cleared previously.

Analysts said a slump in long-haul flying caused by pandemic border restrictions would limit the immediate airline impact.

"It's the off season, so in January or February airlines will be losing money and that's not counting the impact of the pandemic. At the moment they are fighting for survival," said James Halstead, managing partner at UK-based Aviation Strategy.

"Where it might hurt is that some airlines are using the same long-haul aircraft to carry freight," he added.

Airlines reporting cancellations or model switches earlier included Germany's Lufthansa, Korean Air Lines, Singapore Airlines and British Airways - all long-haul carriers with major freight operations.

5G flight disruption eases as Emirates blasts U.S. rollout
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Our Apps
DOWNLOAD APPApp store
Investing.com
© 2007-2022 Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
  • Sign up for FREE and get:
  • Real-Time Alerts
  • Advanced Portfolio Features
  • Personalized Charts
  • Fully-Synced App
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email