Jetstar relaxes rules on use of electronic devices

Jetstar passengers will be able to use their phones and tablets at all times on board its flights from tomorrow.

The budget airline was granted regulatory approval for the move from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Australia's civil aviation authority.

It is the first low-fare carrier in Australia to allow customers to use their personal electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, e-readers and mp3 players, during all phases of the flight.

Previously passengers could not use their devices during taxi, take-off and landing.

The policy will be in place from Jetstar's first flights tomorrow, and will apply to domestic New Zealand and Australia flights, as well as transtasman flights.

All devices will need to be switched to flight mode once the aircraft doors are closed and customers will need to secure their devices during take-off and landing by holding them or placing them in the seat pocket, Jetstar said.

It follows Air New Zealand being granted approval to allow personal handheld devices from July 16.

Last year the United States Federal Aviation Administration published guidance allowing for the expanded use of portable electronic devices following analysis by experts from airlines, aircraft manufacturers, pilots associations, cabin crew and mobile technology manufacturers.

- By Patrice Dougan of APNZ