Australia considering laptop ban on international flights

Angus Kidman 16 May 2017 NEWS

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Malcolm Turnbull says the idea is under review.

So far, Australia has escaped the laptop bans that have plagued international flights to the US and the UK on some airlines, but it looks like that might not be the case in the near future.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Australia may also look to implement similar polices, ABC reports.

"We are looking at it very closely," Turnbull said. "We are taking into account all of the information and advice we're receiving internationally and we're working very closely with our partners. In due course, any announcements will be made formally though the Transport Minister."

Such a ban would mean laptops could only be placed in checked baggage, and would remove the opportunity to get work done on long-haul flights to the US or Europe.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Australia may also look to implement similar polices, ABC reports.

Earlier this week, the US government revealed it was contemplating extending the ban to all flights to the US from Europe and the Middle East. The existing ban only affects flights to the US on specified Middle Eastern airlines, including Emirates, Etihad and Qatar.

The UK has taken a similar approach, although the list of airlines involved is slightly different. Airlines have been forced to offer passengers workarounds such as separate baggage check for laptops and free onboard tablets.

Any change would likely prove particularly disruptive to Qantas, which partners with Emirates and relies on routing through Dubai for most of its European destinations. Emirates recently reported a 70% fall in profits which it attributed to being on the banned list.

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