The Boeing C-40C, callsign SPAR19, landed at Songshan Airport (TSA) following a seven-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur.
The flight, which carried US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, garnered much speculation about the US top official’s possible trip to Taiwan, leading to threats of a military response from China, which considers Taiwan a break-away region.
As international tensions peaked, the flight became one of the most watched across flight tracking services, with some, including Flightradar24 and FlightAware, crashing due to the increased volume of users.
The services show Pelosi’s aircraft heading east after taking off from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SZB). It flew south of Brunei and east of the Philippines, performing a detour and approaching Taiwan from the south-east.
The Boeing C-40C, a 737-based governmental airplane, was escorted by US Air Force fighter jets that took off from Japanese bases, while Chinese jets have been buzzing the Taiwan strait, Reuters reports.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in Taiwan. pic.twitter.com/oVtphO8UpI— Mike Eckel (@Mike_Eckel) August 2, 2022
The flight was preceded by heavy restrictions by China on civilian flights in the region, as well as large military exercises which involved launching a hypersonic missile.