Union to American Airlines Pilots: Refuse to Go to China

Lawsuit filed on behalf of American Airlines pilots
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2020 7:33 AM CST
Union to American Airlines Pilots: Refuse to Go to China
Travelers wearing face masks line up to check in for an American Airlines flight to Los Angeles at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.   (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The union representing 15,000 American Airlines pilots has told members they should refuse to fly to China during the coronavirus outbreak. In a lawsuit filed Thursday—before the State Department issued a Level 4 warning for China—the Allied Pilots Association requested a restraining order to halt flights between the US and China, CNBC reports. The airline said this week that flights between Los Angeles and China will be suspended from Feb. 9 for at least seven weeks, but the union says there are still more than 50 flights a month departing from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to cities in China. The lawsuit cites the "serious, and in many ways still unknown, health threats posed by the coronavirus."

"Due to the known and unknown risks associated with traveling to China right now ... we are directing all American Airlines pilots assigned to flights between the United States and China, other than those on return trips to the United States, to decline the assignment," APA President Capt. Eric Ferguson said. United Airlines said Thursday that in a second round of flight reductions, it is cancelling 332 flights to China between Feb. 9 and March 28, the Chicago Tribune reports. Delta Air Lines says it is cutting flights to China from 42 to 21 a week. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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