UAE-US travel: Passengers rebook air tickets as airlines suspend flights due to 5G issue

Emirates, Air India, All Nippon Airways, Japan Airways and Lufthansa have already suspended flights to US destinations.


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Wed 19 Jan 2022, 3:36 PM

Passengers are concerned after the sudden suspension of flights to the US due to a dispute over the deployment of 5G mobile technology around the American airports and are trying to rebook their flights on other airlines.

Aviation industry executives said there would be some disruption in air traffic to the US due to this 5G deployment until the issue is resolved.

On Wednesday, Emirates, Air India, All Nippon Airways, Japan Airways and Lufthansa suspended flights to US destinations.

Avinash Adnani, managing director of Pluto Travels, said passengers are calling to inquire about their flights as there is no clarity because some airlines suspended flights suddenly.

“There is a panic because people have been caught off-guard. There is no clarity on when the suspended flights will resume. Now flights to New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC are operating, so a lot of people are trying to rebook flights to these destinations so that then they can then take internal flights,” added Adnani.

Sumit Acharya, managing director, BCD Travel LLC, said passengers have limited options and they have to adjust to that.

“We are trying to rebook passengers through airlines that are operating to the US, depending on the aircraft type. We hope that this issue is resolved because this is fairly a big issue. What I am hearing is that this will get sorted out and probably companies concerned may not deploy 5G around the US airports,” added Acharya.

US telecom giants AT&T and Verizon have announced that they would delay activating 5G on some towers around certain US airports.

Acharaya stated that there may not be direct or non-stop operations, but there could be one-stop via operations.

As a result of flight suspension by Air India and Emirates, many passengers in India also remain stranded as a good number of travellers from India opt for direct flights from Dubai as well.


“Passengers will have to look at indirect operations with airlines that are still operating. At this point of time, there is not much traffic because people have flown back to their destinations after Christmas and New Year holidays,” Added Acharya

Sabimir Sabev, managing director for strategy and performance improvement practice at Alvarez & Marsal, Dubai, believes that there will be some disruption, hence, passengers should reach out to the airlines to make sure that their flight is on-time as planned.

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