The UK ban on laptops and other electronic devices on flights from Turkey puts an end to any prospect of a revival for the country, according to Britain’s largest independent travel agency.
The British government followed the US in issuing a ban on laptops, tablets and other devices bigger than a smartphone in carry-on bags on inbound flights from the Middle East and North Africa last month.
The UK ban excludes Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha airports, which are included in the US restrictions, but applies to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey.
John Hays, managing director of Hays Travel which owns 147 travel retail shops, said: “We were seeing an upturn to Turkey compared with last year. Realistically, that is going to stop dead in its tracks.”
He told a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast event in London: “For anyone who hasn’t already booked, terrorism is going to be flagged up to them. It’s going to be right in their faces.
“I see prospects for Turkey bookings being absolutely terrible.”
EasyJet UK director Sophie Dekkers said it was too early to see if the ban was having an impact on bookings.
But she said Turkey bookings had picked up and added it would be “interesting to see” if the ban stifled the recovery.
“The destinations we serve [in Turkey] are leisure and people are more discretionary about whether they need to take a laptop or iPad,” said Dekkers.
“The bigger impact will be on business destinations. It will be interesting to see if people shift to carriers that have inflight entertainment from those that don’t.”
Dekkers declined to comment on the reasoning behind the ban, but said easyJet works closely with the British government and security agencies.
She said: “We just go by government guidelines.”
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