ND027 – United States Lifts Laptop Ban on Emirates Airline and Turkish Airlines
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[UPDATED] United States Lifts Laptop Ban on Emirates Airline and Turkish Airlines

Qatar Airways, Kuwait Airways and Royal Jordanian also removed from US ban list

UPDATE JULY 10 – Kuwait Airways and Royal Jordanian are the latest Middle Eastern carriers to let passengers take laptops in the cabin on US-bound flights.

Royal Jordanian, which flies to three American cities, lifted the ban after new security measures were implemented for flights to the United States, airline president Stefan Pichler said. State-owned Kuwait Airways, which flies to New York, said the ban was lifted after US officials inspected security measures on its flights.

Update July 6
Qatar Airways joins two other major Gulf airlines in getting off the laptop ban on flights to the United States.

Qatar Airways said that with “immediate effect, all personal electronic devices can be carried on board all departures from Hamad International Airport to destinations in the United States.” Hamad Airport in Doha is the hub of Qatar Airways, which still faces logistical challenges amid the country’s diplomatic dispute with several Arab nations.

Update July 5
The United States has cleared travelers with Emirates Airline and Turkish Airlines to use laptops and other large electronic devices on inbound flights. The controversial restrictions, imposed in March, on flights from Dubai and Istanbul have been lifted. This further scales down the unprecedented ban put in place over concerns about terrorists attempting to smuggle concealed explosives into the planes.

Emirates Airline and Turkish Airlines travelers can use laptops again

After auditing security measures and procedures, the ban was scrapped ‘effective immediately’ on Dubai International; the world’s busiest airport for international travel, an Emirates spokeswoman said in a statement. Passengers can now bring on board personal electronic gadgets.

Emirates is the Middle East’s largest carrier and has twelve U.S. travel destinations. The airline had blamed travel restrictions imposed by the U.S. administration for a drastic decrease in demand for flights to the United States. From April onwards, the Dubai-based airline cut flights.

Turkish Airlines also announced in a statement that passengers traveling to the United States could now use their laptops onboard. U.S. officials did not immediately comment on the termination of the ban in Dubai and Istanbul.

Chief Executive of Turkish Airlines Bilal Eksi tweeted that the airline expected that the United Kingdom soon would also lift a similar imposed ban. U.S. and British officials carried out inspections of security measures at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport on Tuesday. However, The U.K. ban does not apply to flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

In March, the United States imposed the ban on flights from ten airports in eight countries: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. Electronic devices larger than laptops were banned on cabin amid fears that concealed bombs could be sneaked onboard. The United States announced enhanced security measures on June 28, which already signaled the end of the ban.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stated that the current ban could be removed ‘should the ten airports comply with the enhanced security measures and when such procedures are verified by inspectors’. The new stricter protocols which take effect within three weeks after the announcement include thorough passenger vetting, bomb-sniffer dogs, and in-depth screening.

They will bear consequences for approximately 325,000 daily passengers traveling on 180 airlines from 280 airports around the world, according to the DHS. Airlines that fail to meet the new meticulous security thresholds could yet face further cabin electronics restrictions. Saudi Arabia Airlines expects the ban to be lifted on flights from Jeddah and Riyadh by July 19, as reported by several news outlets.

As a humanitarian traveler, this directive might more often than not affect your course. Curious to find out more about how to deal with this development as a traveler? Contact your nearest Raptim office!