Major airlines cancel, change flights to US over 5G dispute

Major international airlines cancelled flights heading to the US or changed the planes they’re using on Wednesday, the latest complication in a dispute over concerns that the new 5G mobile phone service could interfere with aircraft technology.

Carriers took widely different approaches to the brewing crisis affecting international travel, from Middle Eastern airline Emirates drastically reducing its US-bound flights to Air France saying it would fly as normal.

It wasn’t immediately clear why the airlines made those decisions — or whether they took into account that mobile carriers AT&T and Verizon agreed this week to pause the rollout of the new high-speed wireless service near key airports.

US officials had said that even with the concession, there could be some cancellations and delays because of limitations of equipment on certain planes.

Some airlines said on Wednesday they received warnings from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or Boeing that the plane maker’s 777 was particularly affected by the new wireless service.

It was also not clear how disruptive the cancellations would be. Several airlines said they would try to merely use different planes to maintain their schedules.

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