Qatar Airways thinks it has found a way around America’s laptop ban

By The Economist online

THE ban on taking large electronic devices into plane cabins, imposed on March 20th by United States on flights from ten Middle Eastern airports, is a particular headache for the four “superconnector” airlines. Etihad, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines, like many carriers, depend on premium travellers for their profits. Those in business-class cabins like to get work done on long journeys; that is difficult without a computer. But, as their epithet implies, these airlines are also unusually dependent on on connecting traffic. By one estimate, 60% of Emirates flyers use Dubai as a layover on the way to somewhere else. As of last week, travellers heading, for example, from New York to Mumbai, must now choose between a superconnecter flight on which they will be without their tablets and laptops, or connecting through Europe on a European or United States airline which is not affected by the ban. (Or, perhaps, an Emirates flight connecting in Milan, which would also be exempt.) It is a fair bet that many are choosing to avoid the Middle Eastern hubs.

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Category: Business and finance, Gulliver

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