26 Oct 2016 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 26 OCT (NAMPA) - National carrier, Air Namibia, has joined other airlines by issuing restrictions on the use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on its aircrafts.
This follows numerous reports over the fire risks posed by the devices lithium-ion battery, which according to reports, have in some instances exploded mid-air and caused severe body burns.
Air Namibia spokesperson, Paul Nakawa told Nampa on Wednesday that all passengers aboard their aircrafts are ordered to power off their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices and not to connect them to any power source while on board Air Namibia flights.
He said the restrictions were in line with recommendations by various aviation authorities regarding the use of the smartphones.
Additionally, Nakawa said, the Samsung Note 7 devices must be kept out of checked baggage.
At Air Namibia, the safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority.
Major airlines in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Germany and Italy have gone a step further by entirely banning the Samsung smartphone from any of their flights.
The United States of America (USA) has also issued an emergency order banning passengers and flight crews from taking the Samsung Note 7 phones to and from the country.
In terms of the emergency order, the phones may not be carried on board or packed in as checked luggage on flights to and from the USA or within the country. The phones can also not be shipped as air cargo.
Meanwhile, the Korean manufacturers of the Samsung phones have announced an expanded voluntary recall on all original and replacement Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. They have offered replacements with other Samsung phones, or refunds.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is not yet available at local retailers or through mobile operators, but Namibians are known to acquire these handsets overseas, importing them to Namibia and activating them on the local networks.