Airlines body says laptop ban impacting Middle East-U.S. traffic

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 01, 2017 12:20 PM

BERLIN (Reuters) - Restrictions on bringing large electronic devices into the cabins on planes on certain routes to the United States are having an effect on traffic between Middle East and the United States, a global airlines association said on Thursday.

Overall demand for air travel rose 10.7 percent in April, but the growth rate for the Middle East airlines was slower than its five-year average growth pace, a trend not seen in other regions, the International Air Transport Association said on Thursday.

In March, traffic measured in revenue passenger kilometers between the Middle East and the United States fell by 2.8 percent year-on-year, the first drop in at least seven years.

"It's too early to be absolutely sure, but we think these numbers are indicative of some impact on travel," IATA chief economist Brian Pearce said on Thursday.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Additional reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris)