SAA bans Note 7

Johannesburg - SA’s national carrier South African Airways (SAA) has banned Samsung’s Note 7 after several reports of the handset exploding and its recall.

The stylish Note 7, which boasts a curved screen, an iris scanner and a pen accessory, was well-regarded until some began catching fire due to a to be determined battery issue..

Students try out Samsung Electronics products at the company's headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. Picture: Kim Hong-Ji. Credit: REUTERS

The 5.7-inch Note 7 had been expected to accelerate Samsung Electronics’ mobile-sales momentum. Then, Samsung announced a global recall of 2.5 million Note 7s in early September.

SAA has now joined a growing list of airlines that will not let the handset on board.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, it said the decision has been taken based on safety considerations in the interests of passengers, crew and property.

The ruling comes into effect for all SAA flights on Wednesday.

Read also: Note 7 failure: Samsung flags $5.3bn hit

“This means, the Galaxy Note 7 device is prohibited completely and may not be carried by travellers on their persons, in carry-on baggage, in checked in baggage or as cargo.”

Spokesman Tlali Tlali says the airline initially placed a restriction on charging the device on board. “However, the recall of the device by the manufacturer based on safety considerations and the announcements made by regulatory authorities in some key markets we fly to have left us with no option but to comply.”

SAA says it has no choice but to comply with regulators’ bans and the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA’s) provisions on safety.

IATA’s position is stated as follows: “Lithium batteries that have been recalled by the manufacturer for safety reasons must not be shipped by air”.

Tlali adds the ban does not extend to other Samsung models.

The Galaxy Note 7 is powered by lithium batteries and has since been recalled by the manufacturer.

The airline will accept no liability for devices that may be confiscated in the process of ensuring compliance with the prohibition.