Foreign airlines start canceling flights over 5G concerns

As of Tuesday evening, 109 flights into, within or out of the United States have been canceled.

Updated: January 18, 2022 - 10:15pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Foreign airlines are canceling flights to the U.S. starting Wednesday due to concerns that the launch of 5G could alter planes' equipment.

Dubai-based Emirates airline suspended flights "until further notice" starting Wednesday from nine U.S. cities including Chicago, Miami, Newark, Dallas and San Francisco. Flights to New York (JFK), Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., will operate as planned.

"Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused. 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," the airline stated.

Air India suspended flights from San Francisco, Chicago and Newark, as well as ​​New York City (JFK), notably unlike Emirates.

Japan Airlines announced the cancellation of some U.S. flights starting Wednesday. 

"Boeing has notified us that 5G signals for U.S. mobile phones, which will begin operating in the U.S. on January 19, 2022, may interfere with the radio wave altimeter installed on the Boeing 777," Japan Airlines stated. "We have decided not to use this aircraft-type on the U.S. mainland routes until safety is confirmed, and we regret to cancel the flight that cannot be changed to Boeing 787."

Japan-based All Nippon Airways also announced that some flights would be canceled due to the 5G rollout. 

Verizon and AT&T blamed the Federal Aviation Administration and airlines for not resolving the issues around 5G before now.

As of Tuesday evening, 109 flights into, within or out of the United States have been canceled for Wednesday so far.

U.S. travelers have already faced thousands of flight cancellations over the past several weeks due to the COVID-19 variant Omicron creating staffing shortages. 

Just the News Spotlight