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Some Chinese airlines ban use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on flights for battery safety concerns

LOCAL Spring Airlines today banned passengers from using, charging Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 7 mobile phone onboard or carrying in their checked luggage due to safety concerns of the phone’s fire-prone batteries.

The budget carrier issued the “safety precaution” following China’s Hainan Airlines group that became the first mainland carrier to carry out the banning on the device Tuesday to over 10 airlines belonging to the group.

Crew members and the airline’s officials are facing severer banning that they are forbidden carrying the smartphone in either their carry-on bags or checked luggage, the Spring Airlines said.

“Flight attendants will ask passengers whether they have the Note 7 when they are boarding the aircraft, while the safety broadcast will also remind passengers not to use or charge the Note 7,” an official with the airline said. Crews will patrol the cabin more frequently, he added.

The smartphone was previously recalled from global markets following reports of exploding while being charged. However, the devices sold in the Chinese market were not on the recall list because the batteries inside came from another supplier and are not defective, according to Samsung.

The banning has been carried out among the Hainan Airlines, the nation’s fourth largest carrier, as well as the Capital, Tianjin, Yangtze River, and Fuzhou airlines, and the Urumqi Air, Air Changan, West Air and Lucky Air under the group.

The airlines are carrying 66 million passengers annually, according to the group’s official website.

“The Hainan Airlines Group made the decision after 35 explosions or fire accidents have occurred globally due to battery defects of the smartphone” the group said in an “emergent notice.”

“Moreover, both the US Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency have listed the phone as a ‘dangerous material,’” it added.

Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone vendor has urged customers to turn off their Note 7s and recalled about 2.5 million of the premium devices in 10 nations include the United States and Australia from September 2.

Other major domestic airlines including China Eastern, China Southern and Air China have yet issued similar stipulations on the phone.

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways, Dragonair and Hong Kong Airlines have asked passengers to keep the power off of the Note 7 during flight.

Passengers are also banned from charging or checking in the phone in their luggage.

China Airlines, EVA Air, TransAsia Airways and other carriers on the Taiwan Island have also issued similar bans on the phone.

Globally, the civil aviation regulators or airlines in United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Singapore have banned using or charging the phone in the air.



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