Laptop ban lifted on US-bound flights from Dubai and Istanbul

DUBAI • 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 yesterday.

The announcements came three days after the ban was lifted on Etihad Airways' flights to the US from Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The ban on US flights from Dubai International, the world's busiest airport for international travel, was lifted after new security measures announced by the US last week were implemented, an Emirates spokesman said in a statement.

Emirates, the Middle East's largest airline and which flies to 12 American cities, had blamed travel restrictions imposed by President Donald Trump's administration for a drop in demand for its US flights.

Emirates and Turkish Airlines are the only airlines that operate direct flights from Dubai and Istanbul, respectively, to the US.

Turkish Airlines chief executive Bilal Eksi tweeted that the airline also expected similar restrictions on flights to Britain to be lifted soon.

Turkish Airlines chief executive Bilal Eksi tweeted that the airline also expected similar restrictions on flights to Britain to be lifted soon.

"A technical team will come from Britain for an assessment within one week," Turkish Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan told reporters in the capital Ankara. "I'm sure they will lift that ban. There is no reason for the ban to continue."

There was no immediate comment available from US officials on the lifting of the ban in Dubai and Istanbul.

The British ban does not apply to flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

In March, the US imposed the ban on direct flights originating from 10 airports in eight 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.

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) expects the ban to be lifted on flights from Jeddah and Riyadh by July 19, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2017, with the headline 'Laptop ban lifted on US-bound flights from Dubai and Istanbul'. Print Edition | Subscribe