FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — The Allied Pilots Association (APA) filed a lawsuit Thursday in Dallas County seeking a temporary restraining order to immediately halt the carrier's U.S. to China services.
APA's lawsuit notes that American Airlines currently operates approximately 56 monthly flights between DFW International Airport and airports in China. The Fort Worth-based airline announced a suspension of flights between Los Angeles International Airport and China but not until Feb. 9.
Each American Airlines crew member working a trip to China is required to be on the ground for approximately 32 hours between flights to comply with federal rest regulations. In its filing, APA cites warnings issued by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health organizations discouraging all "nonessential travel" to China.
"The safety and well-being of our crews and passengers must always be our highest priority — first, last, and always," said APA President Capt. Eric Ferguson. "Numerous other major carriers that serve China, including British Airways, Air Canada, and Lufthansa, have chosen to suspend service to that country out of an abundance of caution. The APA leadership has asked American Airlines management to follow suit, but to date they have not canceled any U.S.-China flights. We are therefore compelled to seek injunctive relief.
American Airlines has since released the following statement on the matter:
"We are aware of the filing. We are in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and global public health officials to make sure we are taking all necessary precautions for our customers and team members. Yesterday, American announced the suspension of travel between LAX and Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG) as well as LAX and Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) from Feb. 9 through Mar. 27, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and make any updates as needed."
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