Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

US, EU to meet next week in Washington to discuss aviation threats

US, EU to meet next week in Washington to discuss aviation threats

IATA estimates that banning electronics on flights from Europe to the United States would cost travelers more than $1 billion.

A ban on flights from Europe would affect 65 million people per year on close to 400 daily flights.

"An expanded electronics ban would disproportionately affect airlines' most profitable customers-business travelers", Harteveldt continues.

A WORK-AROUND: After the initial laptop ban on flights from the Middle East, some airlines devised a workaround. "In 2016, 31 million passengers departed European airports on flights to the US of which 3.5 million were connecting from flights that originated outside of Europe".

Alexandre de Juniac, the director general of the International Air Transport Association, also warned about the concentration of lithium battery-powered devices in a letter to the U.S. homeland security secretary, John F. Kelly, and European transport commissioner, Violeta Bulc.

It appears, however, that European Union officials were unconvinced by the USA argument for adding new flights to the ban, either because they discounted the security risk or because they believed that adequate screening measures were already in place.

There is also the question of the relative safety of keeping a large number of electronics with lithium batteries, which have been known to catch fire, in the cargo area.

A senior USA homeland security official met Wednesday with European Union officials to discuss a likely expansion of a ban on carry-on laptops and electronic devices on US -bound flights, after President Donald Trump disclosed highly classified intelligence to Russian Federation about a laptop-related terrorism plot.

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In March, US authorities introduced restrictions on passengers taking laptops onto flights from Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, amid suggestions the US spooks had uncovered a bomb plot using a laptop.

New security measures could result in major logistical disruptions at airports, and airlines might face reduced demand for lucrative tickets.

Britain followed with a similar ban applying to incoming flights from six Middle East and North African countries. Carriers would also face additional liabilities if personal electronic devices are lost or stolen.

The original ban, put in place in March, banned large electronics, like laptops, in airline cabins on USA - and UK-bound flights from several predominantly Muslim nations. The reports say that the terrorists may not have the ability, however, to remotely detonate the explosives, and that security officials say a bomb in the cargo hold of a plane might do less damage than one in the cabin. Of course, apparently some over eager airline employees had official signs printed up claiming the ban was already in place (leading to later apologies). Tablets and laptops must be stowed in checked baggage. Travis Katz, co-founder and CEO of Trip.com, tells Travel Agent that imposing a ban "sends a signal of distrust to a region we've long enjoyed warm relations with".

"If some flights' options allow certain electronics or provide substitutes", Surry said, "it may sway the traveler's decision about which airline to fly".

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday Canberra is considering banning electronic devices on flights from some West Asian countries.

U.S. authorities banned passengers on direct flights to the United States from 10 airports in 8 countries from bringing laptops, tablets.

Now, extrapolate what would happen when all the larger devices were taken out of the cabin and thrown in the hold with the rest of the luggage.

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