New Delhi: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects about 2% of flights to the US and 3% of flights to the UK to be affected by a ban on some electronic items imposed by the two countries.
Electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smart phone won’t be allowed on board flights from some airports. Electronic devices that exceed this size limit must be secured in checked-in luggage.
Passengers flying to the US directly from airports like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Kuwait, Cairo, Istanbul and Kuwait will be impacted and “should allow (for) extra time at the airport," IATA said on Wednesday.
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IATA calculations show that this ban will impact about 350 scheduled flights a week, equivalent to about 2% of total international flights to the US.
The UK government said flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia will be subject to the restrictions.
IATA calculations show that this ban will impact about 393 scheduled passenger flights per week, equivalent to about 2.7% of the total international scheduled passenger flights to the UK.
Analysts say this could benefit Indian carriers.
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“From an India point of view, this announcement should be a gain for carriers like Jet Airways and Air India which typically fly via Europe, as travelers will prefer airlines which allow them to use these gadgets and be connected during their travel," said Yatra.com’s Sharat Dhall.
Air India said it may benefit.
“We can take it as an advantage because what is likely to happen is that passengers booked on other airlines operating from or through Middle East may consider cancelling their flights going forward," Air India director (finance) Vinod Hejmadi said.
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Air India operates six non-stop flights to four destinations in the US—San Francisco, New York City, Newark, Chicago.
The airline is also planning to introduce Washington as its fifth destination in the US in July.
Air India also operates several direct services to the UK from Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad, among others.
Indian passengers account for more than 30% of the total traffic of three major Gulf carriers—Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways—to the US.
PTI contributed to the story.