Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Air India Expects Surge in Demand Following Electronics Ban on Flights from Muslim Nations

The state-owned Air India expects a surge in demand on flights to the U.S. and U.K. following a ban imposed by those countries on in-flight electronics larger than a cellphone on certain flights from Muslim countries.

"All our flights to the U.S. are non-stop. This ban is only for the countries in the Middle East and Gulf, and will not affect us at all," Vinod S. Hejmadi, director finance of Air India, said.

The airline says it is open to adding more flights to these countries, if there is an increase in demand following the ban.

"This is positive news for us and we are watching the situation. If load and demand increases to a great extent then, yes, we will be thinking about additional flights," said Hejmadi.

The U.S. and U.K., citing terrorism concerns, have barred passengers from certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa as well as Turkey from carrying large electronic devices like cameras and laptops as cabin baggage.

"We can take it as an advantage because what is likely to happen is that passengers booked on other airlines operating from or through the Middle East may consider cancelling their flights going forward," he said.

Air India operates six non-stop flights to four destinations in the U.S. – San Francisco, New York City, Newark and Chicago.
28/03/17 PTI/India West