Singapore carriers avoiding areas affected by China’s live firing exercises



4th August 2022 – (Singapore) Singapore carriers are avoiding areas affected by China’s live firing exercises near Taiwan, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Thursday.

Beijing launched its largest military drills in the seas around Taiwan on Thursday, a day after United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island.

Ms Pelosi was the highest-ranking US politician to visit in 25 years and her trip has rankled China, which views Taiwan as its sovereign territory.

In response to a query from CNA, CAAS said China had sent out a notice to airmen on Tuesday, prohibiting aircraft from flying into identified areas affected by live firing exercises taking place from Thursday to Sunday.

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

A spokesperson for Singapore Airlines (SIA) told CNA that with the exception of flights SQ878 and SQ879, the company’s passenger and cargo flights “currently do not traverse Taiwanese airspace”.

SQ878 flies from Singapore to Taipei, while SQ879 flies from Taipei to Singapore.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make any appropriate adjustments,” the spokesperson added.

The live firing exercises began around 12pm on Thursday.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said six major areas around the island were selected for the combat exercise and that all ships and aircraft should not enter the relevant waters and airspace during this period.

State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times, citing military analysts, said the exercises were “unprecedented” and that missiles would fly over Taiwan for the first time.

Taiwan meanwhile has described the exercises as “an irrational move to challenge the international order”.