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Devices can now stay on during most Air NZ flights

Passengers flying on some Air New Zealand aircraft will be now be able to use tablets and other devices for the entire flight after the Civil Aviation Authority relaxed its rules.

From July 16, customers travelling on domestic and international services on certain aircraft will be allowed the use of handheld portable electronic devices.

That includes tablets, smartphones, e-readers and mp3 players during all parts of flights - but the devices must be in flight mode.

The planes included in the new rules are the Airbus A320 and Boeing 787-9, 777-200 and 777-300.

There are plans to include Air New Zealand's regional turbo prop and Boeing 767-300 fleets over time, subject to approval from the CAA.

Previously customers could not use their devices during the taxi, take-off and landing phases of flight for safety reasons.

Last year the US Federal Aviation Administration published guidelines 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.