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Asian airlines worry about US laptop ban: 179 daily flights and 51,000 passengers could be impacted

There is ongoing uncertainty about a possible extension to other parts of the world, including Asia, of a prohibition of large electronic devices on flights to the US. What is certain is that whatever the situation is – and there are recent disputes of conversations between Europe and the US – the US is not ruling out a future extension. Logic would suggest others should follow suit.

On the trans-Pacific market from Asia to the US there are approximately 179 daily flights, offering 51,351 available seats – more than the 48 flights and 16,683 seats to the US from the 10 airports, mostly in the Middle East, covered under the first phase of the ban. The Asia-US market is smaller than the Europe-US market, but flights are considerably longer.

United, Delta, Korean Air and EVA Air are the largest Asia-US airlines, but United, Korean, ANA and JAL have the largest business and first class cabins, where presumably there is greater demand for electronic device usage, and demand could taper from lack of confidence. Every cloud has a silver lining, and extending the ban could benefit Air Canada, which is growing its US-Asia/Europe sixth-freedom traffic (although mostly with economy seats).

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