Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Device ban opens US/UK skies for carriers of exempt countries

New Delhi: The Trump administration and the British government’s decision to not allow passengers flying from certain airports in West Asia and Africa to carry their personal electronic devices in cabin baggage could open an opportunity for Singapore Airlines, Air India and other carriers.

David Lim, General Manager India, Singapore Airlines, told BusinessLine, that “some Indian customers will switch (to Singapore Airlines for its non-stop service connecting Singapore and San Francisco),” but he was equally clear that the airline will not market the ban. “I do not think we will market it by saying fly Singapore Airlines and you can use your laptop or iPad. We will always focus on connectivity, convenience and service. This is how we will also market our flights to the American West Coast, irrespective of the ban.”

Vinod Hejmadi, Director (Finance) Air India, was of the opinion that the ban could help the airline increase the passengers it carries in business and first class.

Kapil Kaul, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, feels the ban could result in a business-class shift in passenger traffic, but this is not expected to be anything significant except for serious passenger inconvenience. According to him, it is likely to be a short-term measure.

Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association’s calculations show the British ban will impact about 393 scheduled passenger flights per week, or about 2.7 per cent of the total international scheduled passenger flights to the UK, while the Trump administration’s move will impact about 350 scheduled flights a week, or about 2 per cent of total international flights to America.
22/03/17 Business Line