American Airlines has announced that it will be redirecting its Beijing and Hong Kong-bound flights from the U.S. in a bid to avoid Russian airspace, the South China Morning Post reports. In a notice on its website, the carrier says that this redirection of flights through, to or from these two cities would only impact those traveling on April 14. It advised that those who wished to move or amend their travel plans could do so up through May 5.
The carrier’s announcement followed a U.S.-led air strike on Syria over the weekend, and several aircraft were rerouted en route to Asia.
Delays of up to eight hours were expected. American has also confirmed to the outlet that it is not the only U.S. carrier facing restrictions on the airspace it which operates.
Commenting on the situation in a statement, the airline was quoted by the outlet as saying, “American continues to coordinate with Airlines for America (a US carrier lobby group), the US Department of State, Department for Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration. At this time, in order to avoid the potential of restricted airspace, three flights to Asia from the US may require a technical stop to refuel and crew. While this is not a sustainable long-term solution, we are doing everything possible to minimize the disruption for our customers and team members including coordinating with our code-share and Oneworld partners.”