DALLAS — Updated at 6:06 p.m. with more information about mandatory rest periods for pilots after flights.
The Allied Pilots Association filed a lawsuit against American Airlines Thursday in Dallas County in an effort to make the airline temporarily stop all flights to China due to the coronavirus outbreak.
APA President Capt. Eric Ferguson is asking his union members to not accept flight assignments to China and is asking those already in the country to leave as soon as possible.
The union said each American Airlines crew member flying to China is required to be on the ground for approximately 32 hours between flights as part of mandatory rest periods. The union is worried about that amount of time crew members spend in the country.
Additionally, it’s worried about the number of people coming to the U.S. via American flights.
The Fort Worth-headquartered American Airlines has already announced a suspension of flights from Los Angeles International Airport and China, but that suspension doesn’t take effect until Feb. 9. Ferguson said in a news release accompanying the lawsuit that nearly 300 passengers and crew travel to DFW International Airport from Chinese cities on each American Airlines flight.
State Dept Pompeo China level 4 DO NOT TRAVEL due to Coronavirus ALL OF CHINA
Do not travel to China due to novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. On January 30, the World Health Organization has determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Commercial carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China.
Those currently in China should consider departing using commercial means. The Department of State has requested that all non-essential U.S. government personnel defer travel to China in light of the novel coronavirus.
In an effort to contain the novel coronavirus, the Chinese authorities have suspended air, road, and rail travel in the area around Wuhan and placed restrictions on travel and other activities throughout the country. On January 23, 2020, the Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. personnel and their family members from Wuhan. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Hubei province.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Warning for all of China.