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Qatar Airways CEO says US electronics ban ‘unnecessary’

Qatar Airways CEO says US electronics ban ‘unnecessary’

DOHA: The CEO of Qatar Airways has questioned the need for the ban on large electronic devices on flights to the United States, saying the restrictions have hit bookings.

Akbar Al Baker was quoted by CNNMoney as saying that the ban was rushed and introduced without “proper discussion”.

He said Qatar Airways has seen a drop in bookings, adding that “it’s a manageable drop” of less than 10 per flight.

Last month, US President Donald Trump announced the move to ban passengers flying from 10 mainly Middle East airports from carrying anything larger than a smartphone on flights to the US, citing security concerns.

“I didn’t think this ban was necessary at all,” Al Baker told CNNMoney. “People who want to disrupt aviation will do it from other places where there is no ban.”

“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,” Al Baker was quoted as saying.

“I don’t think this is really the correct way of solving security problems. In today’s day and age, we have so much advancement in detection systems that we should utilise them.”

The airline has launched a service offering loaner laptops free to business-class passengers while other major Gulf carriers hit by the ban, Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways, have introduced similar measures.