Laptop ban in flight cabins: Nearly 11 lakh US-bound Indian passengers to be hit

Laptop ban in flight cabins: Nearly 11 lakh US-bound Indian passengers to be hit

Around 82.6 per cent of the total traffic to the US from India transited via Middle East, Europe, North and South Asia in 2016, as per data from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

Nearly half of 22.21 lakh passengers traveling from India to the US via transit flights in cities of Middle East, Europe and North Asia will be affected by the Donald Trump administration’s ban on carriage of laptops and any other electronic devices larger than a smartphone in cabin baggage on flights from 10 airports in Middle East and Africa.

While passengers taking Air India’s non-stops flights to the US will not be affected at all, thousands of them using airlines including Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines, which halt for transit at cities affected by the US ban, will have to put in their devices in checked in luggage.

Around 82.6 per cent of the total traffic to the US from India transited via Middle East, Europe, North and South Asia in 2016, as per data from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA). Around 11 lakh passengers travel to the US from India via transit cities affected by the US ban, as per estimates. The two-way traffic on the India-US route in 2016 was 53.80 lakh passengers. Passengers flying from 10 airports — Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Riyadh, Jeddah, Istanbul, Cairo, Amman and Casablanca — to the US have been prohibited from bringing electronic devices larger than a cell phone or smartphone in the cabin.

These devices — which include laptops, tablets, e-readers, printers and scanners and portable DVD players — must be put in the checked luggage before boarding. Air India expects the ban will help it improve load factors, while Emirates has introduced a new service to enable customers to use their laptops and tablet devices until just before they board their flights to the US.

Passengers must declare and hand over their banned electronic devices to security staff at the gate just before boarding their US-bound flight. The devices will be loaded into the aircraft hold, and returned to the customer at their US destination, Emirates said. Seeing an increase in passengers boarding Air India for the US route, the carrier is planning to start another non-stop service from Delhi to Washington in July or August using the Boeing B-777 aircraft, Air India Director Finance Vinod Hejmadi said.

“The recent ban by the Trump administration on carriage of iPads and laptops on flights from 10 airports in Middle East Gulf and N Africa will not affect passengers of Air India who operates four daily non-stop operations from India to four cities in US viz New York, Newark, Chicago and San Francisco. Besides the ban will also not be applicable on the one stop operations from Ahmedabad to Newark via London,” Hejmadi said.

 

News Source: indianexpress.com

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