Laptop ban lifted for Emirates

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July 05, 2017

Emirates has become the latest carrier to be exempted from the US laptop ban and other carriers expect to follow.

The Dubai-based carrier joins Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, which saw the ban on passengers carrying large electronic devices in the cabins of direct US-bound flights lifted on Sunday.

The Gulf nations were among 10 North African and Middle Eastern destinations targeted by the controversial ban,  imposed by the US Department of Homeland Security in March. The US was considering a wider ban but backed away from the idea in favour of enhanced security measures.

“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 US Department of Homeland Security’s new security guidelines for all US bound flights,’’ Emirates said in a statement released Wednesday. “We would like to express our gratitude to the US and local authorities for their support and thank our customers for their understanding and patience during the last few months when the ban was in place.”

Turkish Airlines has also indicated it expects the ban to be lifted soon.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly late last month announced a series of enhanced security measures to be introduced for 280 airports in 105 countries.

The measures, expected to affect an average of 2100 flights and 325,000 passengers a day, included a boost to overall passenger screening, heightened screening of personal electronic devices as well as increased security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas.

Airports will also be expected to deploy advanced technology, expand screening by dogs and establish additional preclearance locations for travellers heading to the US.

Those that do not comply could still face an electronics ban.