Monday 26 June 2017

This travel ban is set to cost up to $1bn

Curbs on carrying electronic devices aboard aircraft on some services from the Middle East and North Africa already affect 350 US-bound flights per week. Photo: PA
Curbs on carrying electronic devices aboard aircraft on some services from the Middle East and North Africa already affect 350 US-bound flights per week. Photo: PA

Christopher Jasper

Widening the US laptop ban to include flights from Europe would cost travellers more than $1bn, the airline industry's global lobby group said.

Curbs on carrying electronic devices aboard aircraft on some services from the Middle East and North Africa already affect 350 US-bound flights per week. Extending it to the 28 European Union states plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland would impact a further 390 a day, or more than 2,500 a week, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates.

That would cost passengers $655m in lost productivity, $216m for longer travel times, and $195m to rent loan devices on board, it says.

Expanding the ban on laptops and tablets would cause "significant" disruption in the trans-Atlantic business market, and might not be the best way of countering any terrorist threat, IATA Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac said in an interview on Wednesday.

"Traveling with your laptop is part of everyday life," De Juniac said. "We are not sure that this ban is adapted to the threat. We don't know what is the basis or intelligence that justifies this measure."

US and European Union officials met yesterday in Brussels to discuss plans to widen the ban. An EU spokesman said it knows of no evidence to justify the measures.

IATA represents 265 airlines around the world, including the main Irish carriers. (Bloomberg)

Read more: 10 reasons airline laptop bans are a bad idea - from air rage to catastrophic fires

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