Emirates has been barred from adding new destinations and aircraft in China for six months and fined 29,000 yuan (US$4,270), following a decision by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to penalise the airline over two recent safety incidents.

These relate to an occurrence on April 17, when an aircraft flew at an incorrect altitude over Urumqi in Xinjiang, as well as an incident on May 18 when another aircraft fell out of communication with air traffic control while flying in the area.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the airline said: “Emirates will never compromise on the safety of our passengers and crew. Safety is our number one priority at all times. Emirates fully complies with the CAAC’s requirements on all our flight operations in China. Regarding the specific incidents on April 17, 2017 and on May 18, 2017, Emirates will cooperate fully with the CAAC and complete all actions recommended by the authority.”

It is unclear whether the ban on adding new aircraft will affect Emirates’ planned upgrades of its Beijing and Shanghai operations to all-A380 services, which were scheduled to take effect starting July 1 this year. Business Traveller Asia-Pacific has reached out to Emirates for comment.

emirates.com; caac.gov.cn