ISTANBUL: The US “devices ban” on flights from certain Middle East and North African airlines is unravelling — though the UK has shown no intention of removing prohibitions on laptops and e-readers.
In March, the US Department for Homeland Security (DHS) abruptly introduced a ban on any electronic devices bigger than a mobile phone from the cabin of flights to the US from eight Middle Eastern and North African nations. reports The Independent.
Services flying non-stop from the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Morocco and Qatar are covered by the ban. But on Monday the second airport in the UAE, Abu Dhabi, was deemed safe enough to relax the ban.
Now the chief executive of Turkish Airlines, Bilal Eksi, has tweeted that he expects the ban on larger electronic devices to be lifted for flights from Istanbul imminently. Eksi tweeted on 3 July: “The electronics ban that had been in place on US flights has been revoked as of 5th of July. Thank you.” But the airline has not changed its existing statement explaining that larger electronic devices are banned from the cabin.
The ban was imposed, according to the DHS, in response to intelligence reports that terrorist groups were “aggressively pursuing innovative methods” to attack passenger planes, including “smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items”.
The UK Government quickly brought in a ban that emulated the US prohibition, though with a different list of countries: the UAE, Qatar and Morocco, which have frequent flights to Britain, were omitted, while Lebanon was added.