PETALING JAYA - Malaysia Airlines (MAS) passengers will now have to hand-carry their electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and not put them in their check-in baggage, following a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety alert.
However, this ruling does not alter the longstanding no-smoking rule in the passenger cabin.
The airline in a statement on Monday said that the new directive followed a safety alert by the FAA, recommending that airline operators ensure all passengers carry e-cigarettes exclusively in the aircraft's cabin.
"Following recent fire incidents involving e-cigarettes, the FAA issued a safety alert recommending all airline operators to ensure e-cigarettes (also called personal vaporisers or electronic nicotine delivery) be carried by passengers exclusively in the cabin of the aircraft and not in checked baggage.
"Carriage of e-cigarettes in the passenger cabin addresses this safety risk by ensuring that if an incident does occur, it can be immediately identified and mitigated," MAS said.
Recently, an overheated e-cigarette sparked a fire in a piece of luggage at the Los Angeles International Airport.
In September last year, a plane at the Logan Airport in Boston had to be evacuated after an e-cigarette in a passenger's bag caught fire in the cargo hold of the aircraft.
The incidents prompted the FAA to release the latest advisory.