SIA cancels 2 flights amid China's military exercises around Taiwan, says 'safety is our top priority'

The flights affected are SQ878, which flies from Singapore to Taipei, and SQ879, which flies on the return route.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines (SIA) has cancelled two scheduled flights for Friday (Aug 5), amid "evolving airspace restrictions" as China conducts live-fire military exercises in six zones around Taiwan.

The flights affected are SQ878, which flies from Singapore to Taipei, and SQ879, which flies from Taipei to Singapore.

"The safety of our customers and staff is our top priority. SIA will continue to monitor the situation closely and make any adjustments, as necessary," said an SIA spokesman.

China is conducting live-fire military exercises from Thursday to Sunday, following United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the self-ruled island on Wednesday.

Mrs Pelosi was the highest-ranking US politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years, prompting China to condemn the visit and retaliate with economic and military responses.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said China sent out a notice to airmen on Tuesday, prohibiting aircraft from flying into identified areas affected by the live-firing exercises.

PHOTO: The Straits Times


"Singapore carriers have taken note of the (notice) as part of their standard operating procedures and are avoiding the affected areas," said CAAS.

In an earlier statement, the SIA spokesman said that with the exception of flights SQ878 and SQ879, the airline's passenger and cargo flights currently do not use Taiwanese airspace.

The spokesman added that SIA customers who have booked directly with the airline may use its assistance request form to make booking changes or seek a refund.

Those who require urgent assistance may also reach out to its local SIA reservation office.

ALSO READ: False alarm: SIA flight from LA to Singapore sends signal indicating possible hijack

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.