Private charters look to pick up business travel to US after device ban

It was not yet clear whether the private jets are exempt from the ban, but the US Department of Homeland Security’s website does not mention them specifically.

Powered by automated translation

Private charter jet companies say they expect to pick up some business that Gulf airlines could lose as a result of the US ban on carrying laptops and tablets on board aircraft.

It was not yet clear whether the private jets are exempt from the ban, but the US Department of Homeland Security’s website does not mention them specifically.

The US device ban applies to direct flights from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco and the UAE.

The directive is effective from Saturday until October 14.

“We would expect to see an upturn in the number of private jet flights taking place to the US but we can’t say how much at this stage because its far too early,” said Hugh Courtenay, the chief executive and managing director of Private Jet Charter, which operates from Dubai.

__________

Affected flights: See a graphic of direct flights from the UAE and Qatar to the US

__________

“Whether we look at taking steps to do deals for the corporate sector remains to be seen, it will all depend upon the demand and the frequency.”

The number of charter flights to the US from the UAE are infrequent with most headed to Far East, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or Europe.

“We would like to see more corporate demand but it also depends on the capacity made available in the market by the jet owners,” said Holger Ostheimer, the managing director of DC Aviation Al Futtaim in Dubai.

The National reported on Tuesday said that business leaders in India are planning to avoid flying on Gulf carriers to the US because of the ban even if it means paying more to fly via European hubs.

According to Karan Anand, the head of relationships at Cox & Kings, a travel company in India, Gulf carriers control more than 30 per cent of the traffic from India to the US.

Separately, the UAE has seen an appetite for private jets recently.

In the last quarter of 2016, 63 private jets were delivered to the UAE, according to Florida-based Global Jet Capital, which provides financing for acquisition of large-cabin, long-range private jets.

ssahoo@thenational.ae