Trump's laptop ban on European flights is reportedly 'off the table'

19 May, 2017, 11:10 | Author: Leticia Walters

The initial ban on passengers bringing large electronics devices into the cabin hit hardest at Middle Eastern airlines.

European Union officials had called the meeting, described as an exchange of views, following USA announcements to possibly extend the electronic restrictions onto US-bound flights from Europe.

"It's a big source of profit for both USA and European carrier", he said.

The two sides will meet next in Washington "to further assess shared risks and solutions for protecting airline passengers, whilst ensuring the smooth functioning of global air travel", the EC said in a statement.

The airline industry had previously said the proposal would cost travellers over billion dollars in lost time. Emirates and Turkish Airlines instituted a laptop handling service that allows passengers to use their electronics until they reach the gate, when security will take possession of the items and pack them in boxes and load them into the hold.

Reports of a potential expansion of the ban have drawn broad concern from the travel industry.

For days now, European Union officials have been hoping for details on the threat that prompted the proposed ban - the same details that President Donald Trump discussed with Russian diplomats at the White House last week.

USA officials have defended the ban as a measure to thwart terrorist attacks, saying that intelligence shows that ISIS is developing smaller bombs that could be concealed in electronic devices.

The DHS, working with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, has sent carriers safety guidance for how to handle the influx of devices into the cargo areas, the U.S. official said. The US had proposed the idea because of security concerns, but airlines opposed the move, and some experts said putting laptops in checked luggage actually posed a bigger concern of their lithium ion batteries igniting.

Britain followed with a similar ban applying to incoming flights from six Middle East and North African countries. "Given the volumes involved, extending the current US ban to European airports would result in significant disruptions, with implications on various aspects on airport and airline operations", the ACI stated.

Potential plans to ban tablets and laptops from cabin baggage on flights between Europe and the US have reportedly been shelved ... According to the airports association ACI Europe, there are 3,257 flights a week scheduled to fly to the United States from airports in 28 European Union countries this summer. The possible ban in Europe would resemble the rule in the Middle East.

The European Commission (EC) and the U.S. have pushed back against moves for a wider ban on laptops on aircraft but talks on the subject will continue in Washington next week.

But European aviation safety officials are alarmed at the prospect of large numbers of electronic devices powered by lithium batteries being carried in the holds of passenger aircraft.

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