UAE airlines ban use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on flights

The US Federal Aviation Administration recently asked airline passengers that they should not turn on or charge their Galaxy Note7 devices during flights or stow them in checked baggage due to battery issue.


Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (Reuters)

Airlines in the UAE have started putting restrictions on the use of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 in flights to ensure the safety of aircraft operations and its passengers as the newly launched device of South Korean smartphone makers may explode due to battery cell issue.

Emirates airline, Etihad Airways and flydubai have confirmed to Khaleej Times that they are putting the ban on the use of Note 7 on the flights.

Earlier, airlines in the US and India were advised by their respective aviation watchdogs to impose a ban on using and charging the Note 7 on the flights. Airlines in Australia have already banned the use of Note 7 on the flights, according to media reports.

Samsung Electronics said on Friday that it will expedite the new shipments of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones from this week in response to a US regulator’s advisory asking people to avoid turning on or charging the phone in flight due to faulty batteries.

“We plan to expedite new shipments of Galaxy Note 7 starting from this week in order to alleviate any safety concerns and reduce any inconvenience for our customers,” Samsung said in a statement.

Last week, Samsung issued a recall of its premium Galaxy Note 7 smartphone in 10 markets, including the UAE, as they were equipped with batteries prone to catching a  fire.

Since Samsung has recalled its Note 7 devices,  there won’t be many devices in use by its owners, according to a senior aviation analyst.

“Given the low distribution levels of this new device, there won’t be that many of them actually in the air. The recommendations and guidance about not using the Note 7 are just that – how an airline implements them,” Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, told this scribe.

Emirates spokesperson, in a statement to this scribe, said: “As advised by the UAE GCAA (General Civil Aviation Authority), Emirates can confirm that with immediate effect it will advise customers not to turn on or charge their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones during flights or stow them in checked baggage due to concerns over the phone’s fire-prone batteries. Emirates apologies for the inconvenience caused, however, the safety of our ?customers and crew is of utmost priority.”

Etihad Airways said: “Following the global recall by Samsung of its Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, Etihad Airways has, as a precautionary measure, enforced a temporary ban on the in-flight use and battery charging of these devices on all its flights until the issue is rectified by the manufacturer.”

Flydubai also issued the same advisory to its passengers through its website and facebook.

“Following the recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 personal electronic device, we would like to request passengers who own these devices to not switch them on or charge them in flight. In addition, we are unable to accept this device in checked baggage,” flydubai said in a facebook post on Friday.

“Back in the late 1990s, similar concerns were echoed over laptop batteries. But we’ve gotten past that. This device is more of a shamble for Samsung than it is a kneejerk reaction for airlines,” Ahmad said, adding that safety prevails and the limited number of handsets out there means that there is no need for panic – most, if not all holders of these Note 7 devices will adhere to the rules – it’s the minority of users that airlines have to sharpen their focus on if they disobey cabin rules.