China to Close Airspace North of Taiwan Next Week

Wed Apr 12 2023
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ISLAMABAD: China is programming to close the airspace north of Taiwan from April 16 to 18, four sources having knowledge of the matter unveiled, a move that could disrupt flights around the region.

Reuters quoted the sources – four officials outside China who spoke to the agency on condition of anonymity – as saying that the ban would disrupt Taiwan’s northern flight information region, adding that they weren’t aware of the reason for the restrictions.

It comes as China rounds off many days of military training around self-ruled Taiwan in response to President Tsai Ing-wen’s recent meeting with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.

The foreign ministries of China and Taiwan have not yet commented on the matter.

Effect on flights

Senior officials with knowledge of the matter said that the flight ban would affect 60 to 70 percent of flights between Northeast and Southeast Asia and between South Korea and Taiwan, and Japan and North America.

According to OPSGROUP, an aviation industry body which advises on flight high risks, the restrictions imposed during Chinese military drills in the previous August resulted in major disruptions to flights in the region, with some pilots forced to carry extra fuel.

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