US security measures relating to personal electronic devices could have wider implications for passenger traffic flows, JP Morgan has suggested in a research note published today.
JP Morgan analysts tell investors that the regulation could lead to altered global traffic flows, with business passengers selecting airlines that are not affected by the restrictions over those that are.
They say that certain hubs – particularly those in the Middle East – may be structurally damaged by the regulation, noting a "gradual shift among long-haul business travellers away from Middle Eastern hubs" in the medium term.
Unlike the liquid ban enacted in 2006, the regulation on electronic devices could materially impact travel choices, in the analysts' view.
Business travellers are expected to work during flights, and this regulation specifically makes that exceedingly difficult on the routes affected.
"Given the uneven application of e-ban regulations, this may in turn cause high-yield traffic flows to shift from the Middle East towards... Europe," says the note.
JP Morgan believes European carriers could "theoretically" benefit as they pick up hub-and-spoke traffic that might have gone via the Middle East, and while this could feed traffic to the USA the analysts believe the lift to US carriers would be minimal.