U.S. eases laptop ban on flights from Abu Dhabi

Lucy Hill
July 3, 2017

The U.S. ban, first announced in March as a security measure, now applies to nonstop U.S. -bound flights from nine global airports in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Cairo; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai in the UAE.

Officials said the laptop restrictions were removed for Etihad after inspections by the Transportation Security Administration verified that Department of Homeland Security measures announced last week had been implemented correctly at the airline.

He added enhanced procedures had been put in place, and commended airline Etihad for working swiftly to ensure they were implemented.

The U.S. lifted its ban on laptops in plane cabins on flights from Abu Dhabi to the U.S. on Sunday.

In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security said Etihad Airways has been "granted approval to allow personal electronic devices in the cabin of the aircraft on USA bound flights from Abu Dhabi International Airport". "Their efforts are a model for both foreign and domestic airlines".

On Twitter, David Lapan, a spokesman at DHS, praised Etihad for its "swift" action.

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"In this context, we would like to extend our honest thanks to our distinguished guests for their understanding and loyalty during the period when the devices embargo was in force", said the statement.

US officials are increasingly concerned about the possibility of terrorists targeting commercial airliners, CBS News' Jeff Pegues reported.

Etihad said its passengers flying to the United States from Abu Dhabi International Airport "clear US Immigration and Customs at the US Preclearance facility in Terminal 3".

All this also comes amid a wider dispute between Gulf airlines and American carriers, which accuse the Middle East airlines of flooding the market with capacity while receiving billions of dollars of unfair government subsidies.

The customs pre-clearance facility also allows guests to through-check their baggage to their final destination in the US.

In March the United States banned laptops in cabins on flights to the United States originating at 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.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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