Middle East

Emirates, Turkey say laptop ban lifted on US flights

The United States has lifted the in-cabin ban on laptops and other large electronic devices on US-bound flights from Dubai and Istanbul, Emirates and Turkish Airlines said on Wednesday.

The announcements came three days after restrictions were lifted on Etihad Airways’ hub Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The ban was lifted “effective immediately” on Dubai International, the world’s busiest airport for international travel, after new security measures announced by the US last week were implemented, an Emirates spokesperson said in a statement.

Emirates, the Middle East’s largest airline, which flies to 12 US cities, had blamed travel restrictions imposed by President Donald Trump’s administration on a drop in demand on US flights.
The Dubai-based carrier cut flights to five US cities in May.

Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines said in a statement that passengers traveling to the US can now take their laptops on-board.
US officials carried out inspections of security measures at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport on Tuesday, local Dogan news agency reported.

In March, the United States imposed the ban on direct flights from 10 airports in eight Arab countries — Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey — to address fears that bombs could be concealed in electronic devices taken aboard aircraft.

The United States announced on June 29 enhanced security measures for flights to the country, which require additional time to screen passengers and personal electronic devices for possible explosives.
The new measures, which take effect within three weeks of the announcement, will affect around 325,000 daily passengers traveling on 180 airlines from 280 airports around the world, according to the US Department of Homeland Security.

Airlines that fail to meet the new security requirements are likely to continue to face in-cabin electronics restrictions.

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