Passengers flying to the United States on either airline no longer need to pack devices larger than a smart-phone in luggage
The U.S. “laptop ban” was introduced in March, essentially restricting passengers traveling from nine Muslim-majority countries from carrying devices larger than a smart-phone into the cabin with them.
The ban was instated by the Trump administration over concerns that larger electronic devices could be rigged with explosive devices.
Although the Department of Homeland Security has not specified what all the new security measures to inspect electronic devices will entail for security reasons, it will entail higher screening of electronic devices and deployment of explosive-detecting canine units.
The ban continues to affect flights traveling to the U.S. from seven other airports in the M.E.N.A. region, and affects six airlines.
Emirates and Turkish Airlines meet new DHS security requirements
Emirates made a statement regarding the lifted ban, saying: “Emirates has been working hard in coordination with various aviation stakeholders and the local authorities to implement heightened security measures and protocols that meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s new security guidelines for all U.S. bound flights,”.
Turkish Airlines tweeted to passengers: “#WelcomeOnBoard to our U.S.-bound flight. Please fasten your seat belts and enjoy your own electronic devices.”
The DHS also lifted the ban for Etihad Airways, based in Abu-Dhabi, after it instated additional security measures.
Saudi Arabia’s national airline, Saudia, stated on Tuesday it was working to meet the new security requirements and have the ban lifted by July 19th.
A DHS spokesman commented the same day: “We’re not in a position to confirm so far in advance. Saudi Arabian Airlines is still operating under the [portable electronic device] restriction.”
Qatar Airways, based in Doha, issued a statement that the ban was still in place, but declined to comment on whether it would begin introducing higher security precautions to meet DHS requirements and have the ban lifted.