Airline bans 'fire fear' laptops

South Korea's largest airline has banned some battery-powered laptops from its flights over fears they may start fires, according to a report.

Korean Air has barred all Dell laptops and some Apple models being used after they were subject to a battery recall.

Passengers will still be able to use the machines if they are run from the in-seat power supply and the batteries are removed, Associated Press said.

Dell last month recalled 4.1 million lithium-ion batteries made by Sony.

Apple followed suit, saying 1.8 million of its Sony-made Powerbook batteries may have been affected.


The recalls were issued after six confirmed instances of overheating or fire in Dell laptops.

Those Dell laptops affected were shipped between April 2004 and July 2006, including the Latitude, Inspiron, XPS and Precision notebook models.

According to a Dell spokesperson, it affected about 15% of the batteries the company sold in that period.

Dell is offering consumers free replacements.

The affected Apple laptops - the iBook G4 and Powerbook G4 - were sold between October 2003 and August 2006.

Safety watchdog the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said it was the biggest recall of electrical products in its history.

Korean Air's ban applies to all Dell machines and Apple's iBook and Powerbook range.

Other airlines have adopted similar policies.

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