South Africans planning to visit Asia Pacific region will soon be allowed to use inflight gadgets, as Air New Zealand will from 16 July permit air travelers to use them during flights.
Once South Africa Nationals board South Africa Airways – the national airline of South Africa that connects with Air New Zealand in Perth or Hong Kong, it would be possible for them to use their phones, e-readers, tablets and MP3 players from gate-to-gate.
This permit came after the Civil Aviation Authority revised its rules on handheld portable electronic devices. Previously, passengers could not use their gadgets during the taxi, take-off and landing phases of the flight. Thus, Air NZ passengers would be the first in the Asia Pacific region to use electronic devices said the airline.
The airline noted that the electronic devices can be accessed to during flights as long as they are in non-transmitting mode. However, not all aircraft would have the option, it said.
It noted that the permit would first be available to customers on domestic and international services operated by Airbus A320 and Boeing 787-9, 777-200 and 777-300 aircraft. Moreover, there were plans to include Air New Zealand’s regional turbo prop and Boeing 767-300 fleets soon, subject to regulatory approval.
In all, Air New Zealand and South African Airways connect with each other in Perth and Hong Kong. South African Airways became the 18th airline to join the Star Alliance in April 2006.