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Air NZ bans fire-risk Samsung phones

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/10/2016

Air New Zealand has joined the swathe of airlines banning the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 mobile phone from flights over fears they can catch fire.

The ban comes into force on Sunday and the airline says they won't be accepted in person, in carry-on luggage or checked luggage.

Previously airlines allowed the phone on board if it was switched off.

Air NZ warned people should not bring them to the airport as there was nowhere to store them at check in.

"Air New Zealand apologises to customers for any inconvenience, however, this is an Federal Aviation Authority and United States Department of Transportation safety requirement," the airline said in a statement.

An emergency joint directive from the two US bodies banning the Note 7 on flights was issued on Friday (US time).

Qantas and Virgin Australia are also banning the phone on all flights. Ailitalia and Singapore Airlines have also issued a ban.

The battery of the Galaxy Note 7 has been known to catch fire, with its South Korean maker issuing a recall for 2.5 million devices.

Faulty rechargeable lithium batteries from one of its suppliers have been blamed.

In the US, one phone caught fire on a Southwest Airlines flight earlier this month and a Florida family reported a Galaxy Note 7 phone left charging in their Jeep caught fire, destroying the vehicle.

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