Airlines have been scrambling for the last 48 hours and into this weekend to re-route – or outright cancel – flights flying over the tiny country of Taiwan, after China launched live missiles during a test near the island nation on Thursday.
The People’s Republic of China government has long considered Taiwan to be part of its country. Taiwan considers itself sovereign, although only 13 other nations around the world recognize it as such.
Taiwan is just 100 miles off the cost of mainland China. Airlines have begun canceling flights into Taipei, Taiwan, according to CNBC. The always-tenuous situation between China and Taiwan was exacerbated by a recent visit to by Democratic U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to Taipei.
China’s response to her visit was a larger-than-usual military exercise that included the live missile firings.
So far, CNBC said that Korean Air Lines and Singapore Airlines both canceled flights to and from Taiwan on Friday, and Korean
The media outlet reported that Japan’s ANA and Japan Air were both operating flights but re-routed aircraft to avoid the patch of ocean known as the Taiwan Straits. Both airlines not only fly to Taiwan over that stretch of water but to Hong Kong and other parts of Southeast Asia.
Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways and Philippines Airlines both said they are re-routing flights around Taiwan.