American Airlines Pilots Union Sues to Halt Flights to China

BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 30: Chinese children wear plastic bottles as makeshift homemade protection and protective masks while waiting to check in to a flight at Beijing Capital Airport on January 30, 2020 in Beijing, China. The number of cases of a deadly new coronavirus rose to over 7000 in …
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The union representing American Airlines pilots has filed a lawsuit in Texas demanding the company halt all flights to China.

The Allied Pilots Association cited “serious, and in many ways still unknown, health threats posed by the coronavirus” in a lawsuit Thursday in Dallas County, Texas, seeking a temporary restraining order to immediately halt the carrier’s U.S.-China service.

Airlines in the U.S. have been cutting back on flights to China due to reduced demand but, unlike counterparts in some other countries, they have not halted flights altogether. The Trump administration has said it is not ready to order airlines to stop flying to China.

“The safety and well-being of our crews and passengers must always be our highest priority — first, last, and always,” said APA President Capt. Eric Ferguson. “Numerous other major carriers that serve China, including British Airways, Air Canada, and Lufthansa, have chosen to suspend service to that country out of an abundance of caution. The APA leadership has asked American Airlines management to follow suit, but to date they have not canceled any U.S.-China flights. We are therefore compelled to seek injunctive relief.”

“We estimate that as many as 300 passengers and crew travel to DFW alone from Chinese cities on each American Airlines flight,” he said. “To us, that level of risk is unacceptable.”

The lawsuit was first reported by CNBC.

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