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Scoot cancels Taipei flights as China military drills continue

SINGAPORE — Budget carrier Scoot on Friday (Aug 5) said that it has cancelled all of its flights to Taiwan on Aug 5 and 6 as a result of the ongoing airspace restrictions due to China’s military drills in the area near the self-governed island.

Scoot said that it had cancelled flights TR996 and TR997 on Aug 5 as well as flights TR898 and TR899 on Aug 6, 2022.
Scoot said that it had cancelled flights TR996 and TR997 on Aug 5 as well as flights TR898 and TR899 on Aug 6, 2022.

SINGAPORE — Budget carrier Scoot on Friday (Aug 5) said that it has cancelled all of its flights to Taiwan on Aug 5 and 6 as a result of the ongoing airspace restrictions due to China’s military drills in the area near the self-governed island.

Scoot’s flight cancellations follow that of national carrier Singapore Airlines, which had cancelled two of its scheduled flights on Friday — SQ878 and SQ879. SQ878 flies from Singapore to Taipei; SQ879 flies from Taipei to Singapore.

In response to TODAY’s queries, Scoot said that it had cancelled flights TR996 and TR997 on Friday as well as flights TR898 and TR899 on Saturday.

TR996 was to depart Singapore at 9.55am on Friday, while the returning leg of the flight — TR997 — was supposed to arrive in Singapore at 9.50pm.

TR898 was supposed to leave here for Tokyo’s Narita Airport at 1am on Saturday with a stopover in Taipei. The return leg of the journey — TR899 — was meant to arrive in Singapore at 8.10pm on Saturday, a check on the Changi Airport website showed.

Scoot also said that it had revised the flight plan for TR899 on Thursday — the flight bypassed Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport and headed straight to Singapore after its departure from Narita Airport.

The budget carrier will assist its customers affected by the flight cancellations.

“For bookings made through travel agents or partner airlines, customers are advised to contact their travel agent or purchasing airline for assistance,” Scoot said.

“The safety of our customers and staff is our top priority. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust plans, as necessary.”

The day before, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) told the media that China had sent out a notice to airmen on Tuesday, stating that it prohibits aircraft flying into “identified areas affected by live firing exercises”, which were set to take place from Thursday to Sunday.

CAAS added that Singapore carriers have since taken note of the notice as part of their standard operating procedures and “are avoiding the affected areas”.

China on Thursday began a series of unprecedented military drills near Taiwan following a visit there by Mrs Nancy Pelosi, US House of Representatives Speaker. Mrs Pelosi was the highest-ranked American official to set foot in Taiwan in 25 years.

On Friday, China said that it will sanction Mrs Pelosi and her immediate family in response to her visit to self-governed Taiwan.

A representative from China’s foreign ministry was quoted by wire agency Reuters as saying: "Despite China's serious concerns and firm opposition, Ms Pelosi insisted on visiting Taiwan, seriously interfering in China's internal affairs, undermining China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, trampling on the one-China policy, and threatening the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait."

China on Friday also said that it will halt cooperation with the US in a number of areas, including dialogue between senior-level military commanders and climate talks, as a result of Mrs Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.

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