(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Security was high on the agenda at the general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Cancun on Monday, with the global aviation body advocating against a laptop ban on flights.
In March, the US government imposed restrictions on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins on flights from ten airports, including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey. The move reportedly saw a drop in passengers.
Now, the US Department of Homeland Security is reportedly considering an expansion of a ban on laptops and other large electronics in cabins. US officials are allegedly concerned that explosives disguised as laptops could be directly detonated onboard an aircraft.
But IATA General Director Alexander de Juniac said a ban extension will hurt business.
If a laptop ban is extended across to Europe, Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo believes airports will be able to adapt to the new security arrangements.
The issue of security has long concerned the global aviation industry. But at the Cancun meeting, the IATA raised its 2017 industry profit outlook to $31.4 billion dollars, up from a previous forecast of $29.8 billion dollars.
Boeing Marketing Vice President Randy Tinseth believes airlines will prove to be resistant given the security climate.
The forecast underscored a new golden age for airlines' profitability even as carriers scramble to meet fast-changing electronics restrictions, pressure to limit emissions and unprecedented scrutiny on social media over their every mistake.