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Airline may restrict use of Apple notebooks

The world's leading long distance airline is seeking advice on whether it should place restrictions on the use of Apple notebooks on its aircraft, following the Mac maker's a recall of 1.8 million notebook batteries on Thursday.

A spokesperson for Australia-based Qantas airline told APC that the company was seeking further information on the precise risk posed by the batteries in Apple PowerBooks and iBooks, and whether they posed the same risk as Dell's recently recalled 4.1 million batteries.

"We have put limitations on Dell computers and at this stage we are awaiting further information from Apple," said the spokesman.

Apple's product recall affects only batteries that are compatible with discontinued notebook models, specifically the iBook G4 and PowerBook G4. However, as noted by APC, owners of the company’s new MacBook Pro notebooks may face opposition from Qantas flight attendants if restrictions are passed; the MacBook Pro looks almost identical to the PowerBook G4.

Yesterday, Qantas said that Dell notebook users could only use their laptop on a plane on battery power, or with the battery removed and the unit plugged into the power outlet.

Apple's recall of 1.8 million notebook batteries is the second largest in consumer electronics history, behind only Dell's.