LONDON Qatar Airways’ chief government said on Monday he did not consider the ban on carrying most electronics in the cabins of passenger flights to the United States from eight Muslim vast majority countries was built to hurt Gulf airways.
The U.S. launched new safety steps on March 25 banning electronics more substantial than a mobile telephone from passenger cabins on direct flights to the U.S. from ten airports in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, which include Qatar.
The announcement of the restrictions prompted media stories that the go, enacted by President Donald Trump’s administration, is to defend U.S. airways by stifling the progress of the quickly-expanding Gulf carriers and Turkish Airways, a principle dismissed by U.S. officers and many gurus.
Gulf airways Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways have been battling a lobbying campaign in Washington by U.S. carriers that accuse them of acquiring unfair subsidies, prices that the Gulf carriers deny.
“I do not think it is truthful for me to say it is focusing on Gulf airways,” Qatar Airways Main Executive Akbar Al Baker told reporters in London on the sidelines of a Qatar financial commitment forum.
“As much as I am involved it is a safety evaluate and we have to comply with that.”
The rules, prompted by stories that militant groups want to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets, condition that electronics more substantial than a mobile telephone – which include laptops and tablets – ought to be stowed with checked baggage on U.S.-bound passenger flights.
Marketplace gurus argue the ban could weaken passenger demand from customers for the Gulf carriers on U.S. routes, specially amongst business travelers who use the long traveling time to entire work on their laptops.
“At the minute it is far too early to say if it will have an effect on our business,” Al Baker said.
Fellow Gulf carriers Emirates and Etihad said past 7 days they would enable passengers to hand around electronics banned from the cabin to personnel at the boarding gates who would then stow the devices.
Al Baker said the airline has taken techniques to mitigate the impact of the new restrictions on passengers by letting them to hand around electronics “at the place where by they go as a result of the screening procedure”.
It wasn’t immediately obvious which procedure Al Baker was referring to.
Travellers touring to the U.S. from Doha, and other airports in the area, have to pass as a result of a next safety check out immediately prior to boarding.
(Crafting by Alexander Cornwell in Dubai Modifying by Hugh Lawson)