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PAL bans lithium-ion batteries as cargo

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) is no longer accepting lithium-ion batteries as cargo due to potential fire hazards.

PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said the national flag carrier imposed the ban on battery shipments amid the growing number of international carriers banning the shipment of lithium batteries.

“Safety is the cornerstone of our operations. We mitigate risks as we assure our passengers of our commitment to safety,” Bautista said.

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are used in consumer electronics such as mobile phones and laptop computers while non-rechargeable lithium metal batteries are generally used to power devices such as watches, calculators and temperature data loggers.

Tests done by the Federal Aviation Administration had shown the batteries emit explosive gases when overheated. It also showed a buildup of gases inside the containers carrying battery shipments have led to explosions and fires, ABS-CBN reported.

Batteries packed with or contained in equipment are exempt from the ban, provided regulatory requirements on packaging and labeling are complied with, PAL said.

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PAL advised passengers to hand-carry equipment powered by lithium batteries together with their spare batteries.

The airline reiterated that recalled or damaged batteries are not allowed as carry-on, checked baggage or cargo shipment.

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