New Airline Security Fears Boost Bizav

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Although bottom-line impact hasn't been felt -- yet -- last week's terrorism-related restrictions on airline travel are proving to be a major boost to business and general aviation interests in North America and, presumably, Europe. By canceling trans-Atlantic flights and banning from airline cabins many electronic devices and most liquids, anti-terrorism authorities in the United Kingdom and the U.S. may have done a big favor for private aviation. Since then, major-media news stories covering the alleged terrorist threat have highlighted airline delays, cancellations and lengthy security lines involving flights between the two countries; domestic U.S. flights have also been affected.

For each anecdotal tale involving a "normal" flight, there is at least one other with annoying details: hours of delays, mass confusion and more-intrusive security checks than was the case the week before. And the effects continued this week, with some airlines wondering aloud who would pay for their losses. Depending on how long the heightened security measures remain in place -- and some signs indicate they are already being rolled back -- well-heeled business travelers may be ready to pull out their plastic and give charter and fractional operators a try, at least for short-haul trips. If admittedly anecdotal evidence AVweb has collected is any indication, those same businesspeople may also stroke checks for new aircraft.