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American reroutes Asia flights to avoid Russian airspace

American Airlines has rerouted three flights to Asia due to "overflight concerns" as tensions between the USA and Russia rise.

Flights between Chicago O'Hare and Beijing, and Dallas/Fort Worth and both Beijing and Hong Kong have been rerouted due to the concerns, a memo sent to pilots states.

While the memo does not name a county, FlightGlobal understands that the routing changes are to avoid Russian airspace.

Tensions between Russia and the USA have risen following airstrikes by France, the UK and USA on the Russian-backed Syrian regime on 13 April.

"A4A and our carriers are closely monitoring what is a fluid situation," says industry group Airlines for America (A4A) on the airspace concerns. "Carriers continuously monitor and evaluate airspace issues and communicate potential changes to our customers and employees in an effort to avoid any disruptions."

Flightradar24 shows flights AA187 from Chicago to Beijing, AA263 from Dallas/Fort Worth to Beijing, and AA125 from Dallas/Fort Worth to Hong Kong all operating nonstop polar routings that overflew Russia on 13 April. All three flights stopped in Los Angeles and then flew to their destinations over the Pacific Ocean on 14 April.

American is not expected to reroute any of the three flights on 15 April, FlightGlobal understands.

United Airlines, which also flies over Russian airspace on some of its routes to Asia, does not appear to have rerouted flights. Flight UA851 from Chicago O'Hare to Beijing took a Polar routing over Russia on both 13 and 14 April, Flightradar24 data shows.

American declines to comment.

Updated with comment from A4A

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