The body says that an outright ban on electronics in the cabin could have a significantly detrimental impact on passengers as well as the wider global travel and business industries.
As the U.S. mulls a possible ban on electronic devices on flights between America and Europe, the global travel industry expressed its deep reservations over the potential impact of any such prohibition. Earlier this week, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) outlined the costs of a ban to both passengers and the wider economy in a letter to John F. Kelly, the United States Secretary of Homeland Security. The document was issued just as American and European officials met to discuss aviation security in Brussels on Wednesday.
Looking at air passenger traffic between the 28 member states of the European Union (EU) as well as Switzerland, Norway and Iceland and the U.S., IATA says that the ban, in terms of money alone, could cost $1.1 billion per year. Flight Chic gives an in-depth analysis of the potential cost of the ban, which would see electronic devices larger than a cellphone prohibited from the cabin.
For its part, IATA believes that lost productivity, increased travel time and more complex security procedures will have a detrimental impact on passengers as well as the wider travel and business industries.
In the letter to Secretary Kelly, a copy of which was also sent to Violeta Bulc, the EU’s Commissioner for Transport, IATA director and CEO Alexandre de Juniac stated that he was writing on behalf of the body and its member carriers “to express our serious concern regarding the negative impact any extension of the ban on personal electronic devices in the aircraft cabin will have on airline passengers, commercial aviation and the global economy.”
A copy of the letter, reproduced by the website, also offered alternatives to a total ban on electronics. De Juniac re-iterated that while safety and security was a top priority for IATA, the body is encouraging “all regulators to weigh the impacts of such measures on the passenger, the economy and the airlines” before implementing an outright ban on electronics between the U.S. and Europe.