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Airlines seek alternatives to laptop ban


Device ban is “hot topic” as airlines meet in Cancun
US and British bans on laptops and other devices on some inbound commercial flights is a “hot topic” at this year’s International Air Transport Association annual meeting, being held in Cancun, Mexico over the next couple of days.
Top airline executives will debate alternatives to the ban, which they say is damaging their businesses. Alternative proposals to come under the spotlight include sniffer dogs, bomb detection technology and increased training.
Many factors are in the airlines’ favour – low fuel prices, 3.8 billion passengers last year, which is forecast to double in the next 20 years.
“The industry is doing quite well,” IATA’s director general, Alexandre de Juniache, said in a press conference. “Airlines are in the black and it’s the eighth year in a row.”
But the in-cabin ban on electronic devices larger than a mobile phone due to the possibility of a terror attack, which may yet be expanded to include flights to the US from Europe and beyond, is a cloud on the bright horizon. IATA says expanding the ban to European flights would be catastrophic.
“Hot topics will include finding alternative means to keep flying securely without the inconvenience,” De Juniac said. “We have no doubt about the threat. We have doubt about the measure that has been proposed to ban [electronic devices] from the cabin.”


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