A wider electronics ban could seriously impact European visitation to the U.S. this summer.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may ban laptops on all flights from Europe to U.S. airports, according to media reports.
Writing for The Daily Beast, Clive Irving claims European security officials are indicating that the new ban will be announced tomorrow, May 11.
Update: An official with a major U.S. airline told Skift that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has briefed carriers on possible plans. But the official said late Wednesday that U.S. airlines had not been told when, or even if, a ban would be implemented.
The airline official said carriers have been told an electronics ban might cover all flights from the largest European airports to the United States, including London and Paris.
A representative of DHS told Skift that plans to extend the electronics ban have yet to be finalized but are under consideration.
“No final decisions have been made on expanding the restriction on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins; however, it is under consideration,” said David Lapan, deputy assistant secretary for media operations/press secretary for Department of Homeland Security. “DHS continues to evaluate the threat environment and will make changes when necessary to keep air travelers safe. When there are changes, we’ll announce that.”
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had no comment.
Reports have circulated this week of an upcoming electronics ban on flights both inbound and outbound flights. The U.S. ban on large electronics in the cabin of flights from 10 African and Middle Eastern airports went into effect this March. The DHS cited security concerns regarding explosives being brought on board inside electronic devices, but would not give the details of any specific threat.
Emirates reduced its number of flights to the U.S. following the ban, which led to a decrease in demand for the routes. A similar ban affecting European flights would likely be a major blow for legacy U.S. carriers and European carriers alike.
The UK, Germany, France, and Italy are all significant markets for summer travel to the U.S. Europe overall is the second biggest global market for travel to the U.S., just slightly behind the rest of North America, according to statistics from the National Travel and Tourism Office.
More to come.
Photo credit: A new electronics ban may be coming from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. An Air France A330 takes off. Air France / Air France