International Air Transport Association CEO (and former CEO of Air France KLM) Alexandre de Juniac spoke today at the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations.
IATA is the world association of airlines and, along with the International Civil Aviation Organization, a standards-setting body.
Here’s a transcript of de Juniac’s talk. He spent some time on the laptop ban levied against 10 airports, 9 airlines, and 8 countries for flights to the U.S. calling the measures “not an acceptable long-term solution” and “difficult to understand their effectiveness” in the short term.
If only US airline CEOs were as candid, but of course they’re benefiting from the ban even as passengers suffer.
Last week’s ban on large electronics for flights to the US and the UK from some airports is worth reflecting on. The industry came together quickly to implement the new requirements. That was a challenge because there was no consultation and little coordination by governments.
Now, along with our customers we are asking some questions that underpin confidence in our security measures:
Why don’t the US and the UK have a common list of airports?
How can laptops be secure in the cabin on some flights and not others…..especially on flights originating at a common airport?
And surely there must be a way to screen electronic equipment effectively at airport checkpoints?
The current measures are not an acceptable long-term solution to whatever threat they are trying to mitigate. Even in the short term it is difficult to understand their effectiveness. And the commercial distortions they create are severe. We call on governments to work with the industry to find a way to keep flying secure without separating passengers from their personal electronics.
Ban the ban, it’s a silly response to a movie theater plot.