29 Mar 2017

Airline Industry Is Bashing “The Laptop Ban”

Just few days since being effective the laptop cabin ban has been already put on cross fire. In an official statement the Air Transport Association (IATA) declared that the ban won’t deliver effective security measures and will only create “commercial distortions”. According to the IATA chief executive Alexandre de Juniac “The current measures are not an acceptable long-term solution to whatever threat they are trying to mitigate. Even in the short-term, it is difficult to understand their effectiveness.”. He also called on meeting between the governments of the UK, the USA and industry’s representatives to find a way to provide security without separating passengers from their personal gadgets. Juniac’s speech was part of the annual meeting of the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations, a non-profit organization aimed to facilitate and work for the improvement of the international affairs. In front of his colleagues and other members, the IATA chief expressed his concerns that the ban has a “political developments pointing to a future of more restricted borders and protectionism.” He also criticized the urge of the ban being implemented without any consultation with the airlines and congratulate the industry on their quick reaction despite that.

De Juniac is not alone in his indignation. Immediately after the ban was realized numerous airline experts claimed the restriction as “weird”. “From a technological perspective, nothing has changed between the last dozen years and today. That is, there are no new technological breakthroughs that make this threat any more serious today. And there is certainly nothing technological that would limit this newfound threat to a handful of Middle Eastern airlines.” Bruce Schneier, a security technologist commented.

Another industry specialist Robert W Mann Jr, president of the analyst company RW Mann & Company said that according to him the ban in USA will simply hurt the foreign-owned carries and drive customers to US airlines. “It seems to create a competitive disadvantage for those carriers flying nonstop from those 10 points,” Mann concluded.

The restriction was issued first by the US authorities and few days later was followed by similar restraint in the UK. The US ban affects all the passengers on foreign companies coming from 10 airports in some countries of Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. The UK government implement the ban on 14 lines including home companies like British Airways and EasyJet.

Some of the biggest carries like Emirates have quickly found a solution how the decrease the effect of the ban by announcing that their passengers will be allowed to use the devices right before they board on the plane. Then devices will be packed and kept in the hold until the plan lands. “Our new complimentary service enables passengers, particularly those flying for business, to have the flexibility to use their devices until the last possible moment.” a statement of the company said.