PAL, Cebu Pacific ban use of Samsung Note 7 on flights

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2016 01:43 PM | Updated as of Sep 12 2016 03:35 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Monday said the charging and use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 are prohibited in all its flights due to safety issues.

The Note 7 units are allowed to be hand-carried as long as the devices are switched off at all times, the airline said.

The units, which were recalled by Samsung globally over fire-prone issues, are not allowed to be checked in and will not be accepted as PAL cargo shipment, it added.

"Safety remains a cornerstone of PAL operations and as such, the flag carrier will be ensuring full compliance on board each flight and is seeking the full cooperation of its passengers," the airline said in a statement.

Cebu Pacific earlier barred the use of the same Samsung Galaxy Note 7 units during flights. 

SAMSUNG SHARES SLIDE

Samsung's shares fell to their lowest level in nearly two months on Monday after the tech giant told customers to switch off and return their new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones due to fire-prone batteries.

Investors had wiped 15.9 trillion won (14.3 billion) off the South Korean firm's market capitalization as of 0303 GMT, as a series of warnings from regulators and airlines around the world raised fears for the future of the flagship device.

"Some said initially the Galaxy Note 7 could be the best smartphone ever, but now it's possible the phone will go down as the worst ever," IBK Securities analyst Lee Seung-woo said, predicting weak sales in the fourth quarter.

Samsung Electronics' common shares were down 6.3 percent to 1,476,000 won each after touching their lowest level since July 12, and were on track for their biggest daily percentage drop in more than four years.

Analysts said the recall could torpedo Galaxy Note 7 sales and have a lasting impact on the $211 billion company's brand image, which could derail a recovery in its smartphone market share against rivals like Apple Inc.

The global smartphone leader on Saturday urged all customers to turn off their Note 7s and return them as soon as possible as part of the recall which it voluntarily initiated on Sept. 2.

Samsung said it is working to expedite shipments of replacement phones promised in the recall announced last week due to faulty batteries causing the premium smartphone to set on fire.

AIRLINES IN AUSTRALIA BAN PHONE

Three Australian airlines have earlier banned passengers from using or charging Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 7 smartphones during flights due to concerns over the phone's fire-prone batteries.

Qantas, its budget unit Jetstar and Virgin Australia said they had not been directed to ban the use of the phone by aviation authorities, but did so as a precaution following Samsung's recall of the phones in 10 markets.

Although customers will still be able to bring the phones on flights, the ban extends to the phones being plugged in to flight entertainment systems where USB ports are available.

The recall follows reports of the 988,900 won ($885) phone igniting while charging - an embarrassing blow to Samsung, which prides itself on its manufacturing prowess and had been banking on the devices to add momentum to a recovery in its mobile business.

Samsung, the world's biggest smartphone vendor, has sold 2.5 million of the premium devices so far.

-- With Se Young Lee, Reuters