Travel in the region is being hampered by Chinese military activity around Taiwan.
Airlines are being forced to cancel or reroute flights to Taipei in order to avoid airspace that has been closed to civilian traffic as a result of Chinese military exercises in the area.
The military activity was sparked by Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. The US Speaker of the House touched down in Taiwan on August 2nd, with the flight she was traveling on from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei becoming the most tracked flight of all time on FlightRadar24.com.
The recent activity represents the largest military exercises that China has carried out in the Taiwan Strait since 1996, with the country deploying hundreds of military aircraft and firing live missiles in the area. This is expected to continue until midday local time on Sunday.
Several airlines in the region have modified their flight schedules and routings as a result of the military activity.
Let’s take a closer look at some of those affected.
Simple Flying has reached out to the affected carriers for further comment.
Discover more of the latest aviation news with Simple Flying.
Pre-pandemic, Taipei Taoyuan International Airport was the 11th busiest airport in the world for international traffic. However, with quarantine still required for arriving passengers, the number of flights landing in Taiwan remains drastically reduced, meaning that the impact of the airspace closure has so far been relatively minor.
The size of the airspace involved is also comparatively small. The closure of Russian airspace is having a much larger impact on the global aviation industry, causing significantly longer flight times and increased fuel burn. Finnair’s flights between Helsinki and Japan, for example, currently take almost four hours longer.
The current military activity in the Taiwan Strait is expected to end at midday on August 7th. However, if it continues for longer, the impact on aviation could become much greater, and could hamper the region's already slow recovery from the pandemic. All eyes are now on the US and China to see how the situation plays out going forward.
Has your flight been impacted by the US-China tensions? How do you see the situation impacting on aviation over the coming days and weeks? Share your thoughts by commenting below.
Journalist – Steven has a varied background in communications, and it was this passion for writing combined with his in-depth knowledge of the aviation industry that led him to Simple Flying. A keen linguist, he also has experience in translation and interpreting. Based in Palma, Spain
Your voice matters. Discussions are moderated for civility.

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