International carriers resumed US flights on Thursday after a limited rollout of 5G service that resulted in minor disruptions to schedules.
Dubai-based Emirates was one of several foreign carriers to change US service over fears that the 5G service deployed on Wednesday could disrupt sensitive instruments used to measure altitude on some planes, including the popular Boeing. 777 model.
Emirates said it would restore flights to Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth, Miami, Newark, Orlando and Seattle from Friday. The decision followed the Federal Aviation Administration’s announcement that more aircraft models, including the Boeing 777, would be allowed to operate.
“We apologize for the inconvenience caused to our customers by the temporary suspension of flights to some of our US destinations.” Emirates Airline President Tim Clark said in a statement. “Safety will always be our top priority and we will never gamble on this front.”
Clark added that Emirates was “very aware that this is a temporary postponement and that a long-term solution would be required.” The Emirates president previously called the way the US handled the rollout of 5G “completely irresponsible”.
Emirates flights to Boston, Houston and San Francisco were said to resume use of the Boeing 777 model on Saturday after switching to another model.
Japan Airlines said it would resume US flights from Thursday after it received “confirmation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that there is no longer a problem with the Boeing 777’s operation.”
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and if there is any impact on our flight operations, we will immediately announce it on our website,” the airline added.
Air India noted that its flights entering and leaving the US had been “affected” in the past two days, but said it would resume normal service by Friday.
“We would like to inform our passengers traveling to/from destinations in the US that as of 01:00 AM on January 21, 2022, normal flights to/from the US will resume,” Air India’s Twitter account said:.
Germany-based Lufthansa, which canceled one flight to the US on Wednesday and initially said it would switch aircraft models for other flights, also confirmed a return to normal operations.
The German airline said it would “operate normally and on schedule with previously scheduled aircraft types for their flights to the US,” CNN reported.
Airlines canceled fewer than 400 U.S. flights on Wednesday after AT&T and Verizon agreed to temporarily limit their 5G launch to avoid major airports. Multiple carriers said they experienced few disruptions to their operations.
The main trade group representing US airlines said the decision to limit the rollout helped prevent “catastrophic disruptions” to air traffic.