| MONTREAL, March 28
MONTREAL, March 28 An international airline
trade organization on Tuesday denounced the Trump administration
ban on some electronics on direct flights from several
Muslim-majority countries, criticizing the policy as a move
toward "more restricted borders and protectionism."
Speaking to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations,
Alexandre de Juniac, director general and chief executive of the
International Air Transport Association (IATA), questioned the
efficacy of the ban, which prohibits electronics larger than a
cellphone on direct flights to the United States from 10
airports in the Middle East and North Africa.
"The current measures are not an acceptable long-term
solution to whatever threat they are trying to mitigate," de
Juniac said. "Even in the short term it is difficult to
understand their effectiveness."
The regulations, prompted by reports that militant groups
want to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets, require
that electronics larger than a cellphone, including laptops and
tablets, must be stowed with checked baggage on U.S.-bound
Britain followed suit with a similar ban on larger carry-on
electronics on direct inbound flights from six countries, and
Canada is considering its own policy on electronics.
The airports covered by the U.S. ban differ from those in
the UK one, and de Juniac questioned why the two countries did
not have a common list. He admonished the two governments for
what he characterized as insufficient communication and
coordination in enforcing the policy.
"The commercial distortions (these electronics bans) create
are severe," he said. "We call on governments to work with the
industry to find a way to keep flying secure without separating
passengers from their personal electronics."
(Reporting by Nelson Wyatt in Montreal and Alana Wise in New
York; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)