American Airlines pilots union sues to stop China flights

White House considers ban on China flights amid coronavirus outbreak

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The union representing American Airlines’ pilots sued Thursday to stop the carrier from flying to China amid the coronavirus outbreak and has instructed its members to decline new assignments to fly there.

Calling the risk to passengers and crew members “unacceptable,” the Allied Pilots Association filed the suit on Thursday in Dallas. The union represents American’s 15,000 pilots.

The union cited warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. State Department discouraging Americans from nonessential travel to China. On Thursday, the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency.

More than 7,000 people worldwide have been infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed at least 170 people in China, the epicenter of the outbreak.

United, American and Delta have been reducing their flight schedules between the U.S. and China throughout the week, with the cuts extending from the beginning of February through the end of April, depending on the carrier.

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