The ongoing ban on electronic devices on flights to the US is ‘unnecessary’, according to Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker.
The ban was rushed and introduced without proper discussion, Al Baker told CNNMoney.
Qatar Airways has seen a drop in bookings, he said, adding that it is a manageable drop of less than 10 per flight. This was not the correct way of solving security problems, Al Baker said adding that there has been much advancement in detection systems.
People who want to disrupt aviation will do it from other places where there is no ban, Al Baker opined.
“If [Trump] continues this way, at the end of the day you will have people sitting in the airplane with underwear and nothing [else] on them.”
The airline has launched a service offering loaner laptops free to business-class passengers. Other major Gulf carriers, Emirates and Etihad Airways, have introduced similar measures.
Emirates Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori said the number of travelers heading from the US to Iran and the Indian subcontinent has dipped since January after Washington imposed restrictions affecting some passengers on US-bound flights.
Passengers flying from some US cities are taking longer to decide on travel plans, Antinori said
The US government temporarily banned passengers on certain flights originating in eight countries in the MENA region from bringing electronic items some weeks ago.
The restrictions apply to any device larger than a mobile phone such as a laptops, tablets, iPads, cameras and portable DVD players.
However, mobile phones and medical devices are excluded from the ban.
The ban applies to nonstop flights to the US from 10 international airports serving the cities of Cairo in Egypt; Amman in Jordan; Kuwait City in Kuwait; Casablanca in Morocco; Doha in Qatar; Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia; Istanbul in Turkey; and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.