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Dubai Airports CEO says US electronics ban to have little impact on passenger numbers

Dubai Airports CEO says US electronics ban to have little impact on passenger numbers

Paul Griffiths said a “very tiny proportion” of passengers might choose to switch airlines

Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths

The CEO of Dubai Airports believes the US ban on carry-on large electronics will have no significant impact on passenger numbers at Dubai International.

In an interview with radio station DubaiEye, Griffiths said a “very tiny proportion” of passengers might choose to switch airlines.

“If we are very, very diligent in both communicating exactly what the restrictions are and actually have an efficient process to deal with the situation, I don’t suggest it will have an impact on numbers,” he added.

The CEO further explained the airport would allow people to take their electronic devices through the airport to the gate and they could then be checked into the hold and delivered to the customer as soon as they arrive at their US destination to avoid disruption.

The US moved to ban large electronics like laptops, tablets and portable DVD players on flights from airports in eight countries, including the UAE, on Tuesday with Dubai’s Emirates among the most affected airlines

Read: US bans large electronics from GCC airports

Emirates said that the directive comes into effect on Saturday, March 25, and is valid until October 14. It currently flies to 12 US destinations.

Read: Dubai’s Emirates begins controversial Athens-Newark route

Griffiths refused to disclose further details about the threat but explained it was “preferable” for passengers to have no access to large electronics during their flight.

Elsewhere at the airport there were signs the new measures would have an impact.

Dubai Duty Free said it could lose about $2m a year following the ban as US-bound customers cut down on purchases of larger devices, according to The National.

About 2 per cent the company’s $1.85bn sales are generated by passengers travelling to the US, with 5 per cent of these purchases on electronics.

However, the company specified that about 55 per cent of electronics purchased are phones or phones accessories that are not covered by the ban.

Dubai International is the world’s busiest airport for international passengers with annual traffic rising 7.2 per cent to 83.6 million last year. It is forecasting 89 million passengers this year.

Read: Dubai airport welcomes 83.6m passengers in 2016, remains world’s busiest int’l

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