German, Italian, Canadian and Australian airlines have imposed bans on the latest Samsung smartphone. Reports of the devices overheating and catching fire have sparked safety concerns.
Air Berlin and Lufthansa are the latest airlines to impose travel restrictions on the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone following a decision by US regulators to ban the device.
Samsung announced earlier this month that it was recalling the phone after it was found the batteries had a tendency to catch fire. Growing concerns over the device led the US Department of Transportation and other agencies to bar travelers from bringing the phone on the plane with themon Saturday.
“We recognize that banning these phones from airlines will inconvenience some passengers, but the safety of all those aboard an aircraft must take priority,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Other airlines around the world have since followed suit. Air Berlin announced its decision over the weekend, emphasizing that the safety of its passengers was its top priority.
Lufthansa, Germany’s largest airline, announced that for the time being it was banning the Galaxy Note 7 phone from all flights in the US but would eventually extend the ban to all of its flights worldwide.
Meanwhile, Italian airline Alitalia banned the phone from all flights effective immediately, in order “to guarantee maximum security standards.” The airline said passengers would not only no longer be able to check the phone with their baggage, but they also wouldn’t be allowed to bring the phone on board.
Other airlines outside of Europe and the US to ban the phone include Air Canada; Australian airlines Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Tiger Australia; and Air New Zealand.
blc/cmk (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)