Wednesday, July 5, 2017

US laptop ban lifted on Emirates and Turkish Airlines

AFP*

Emirates has said the cabin ban on laptops no longer applies on its flights to the United States.

In March, the US banned laptops and other large electronic devices to and from eight mostly Muslim nations, fearing bombs may be concealed in them.

Emirates, which flies to the US from its Dubai hub, said it worked with US authorities to meet new security rules.

Turkish Airlines said it was also now allowing passengers travelling to the US to take their laptops onboard.

The two airlines join Etihad, which saw the ban lifted on Sunday for its flights from Abu Dhabi after US authorities found it had put tighter security checks in place.

Emirates said in a statement: "Effective immediately, the electronics ban has been lifted for Emirates' flights from Dubai International Airport to the USA."

The airline, which flies to 12 US cities from Dubai, thanked customers for "their understanding and patience during the last few months".

Turkish Airlines said on Twitter that all electronic devices would be allowed on its US flights from Wednesday.

Airlines had expressed hope that new guidelines announced last week would pave the way for the lifting of the electronics ban.

The measures include enhanced screening, more thorough vetting of passengers and the wider use of bomb-sniffer dogs in 105 countries.

According to reports in Turkish media, US and UK officials visited Turkey's main international airport in Istanbul on Tuesday.

GETTY IMAGES*

Turkey has recently started using sophisticated tomography imaging devices for X-ray and ultrasound screening at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport.

Under the March rules, devices "larger than a smartphone" were not allowed in the cabins of flights from Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

The UK imposed similar rules to the US, but applied them to different countries.

The boss of Turkish Airlines has suggested he expects the UK to lift the ban for his airline soon as well.

In March, the UK government said devices larger than 16.0cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm would not be allowed on direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Source: BBC

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