First Published: 2017-07-03

US lifts laptop ban for Etihad flights
Etihad is first airliner to benefit from lift in ban on passengers taking laptops and tablet computers imposed by US.
Middle East Online

Effective immediately

WASHINGTON - The United States has lifted a ban on passengers taking laptops and tablet computers on Etihad Airways flights from its base in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi, authorities said Sunday.

The move -- welcomed by Etihad -- comes more than three months after the United States prohibited such devices on direct flights from 10 airports in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa.

Etihad is the first airliner to benefit from a lift in the ban, which specified that carry-on laptops and other electronic devices larger than cellphones would not be permitted in the cabin on direct flights from the airports, including Abu Dhabi.

The ban was implemented after intelligence officials learned of efforts by the Islamic State group to fashion a bomb that could be secreted inside such devices.

The decision to lift the ban on US-bound Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi came after the airline implemented enhanced security measures, said David Lapan, spokesman for the US Department of Homeland Security.

"We commend Etihad for working swiftly to implement these additional measures," he said. "Their efforts are a model for both foreign and domestic airlines looking to adopt the new measures."

Lapan said the specific measures that were put in place were confidential, but added that passengers and electronic devices would face additional screening.

Etihad Aviation Group applauded the decision.

"We welcome the decision by the US Department of Homeland Security to lift the electronic devices ban on flights between Abu Dhabi and the United States, following the successful validation of security measures at the US Preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi airport earlier today," a statement said.

"Effective immediately, the removal of the restrictions allows passengers flying to the US to carry all laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices onto the aircraft, subject to enhanced security measures," it added.

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".

"When guests land in the US, they arrive as domestic passengers with no requirement to queue for immigration and custom checks again," it added, saying the facility was the only one of its kind in the region.

In addition to the 10-airport ban, the United States announced on June 28 that it would impose stricter security measures on all US-bound flights, regardless of origin.

Washington has promised to lift its March ban affecting the 10 airports when airliners adhere to additional security measures.

Britain announced a similar ban on personal electronic devices for flights originating from six countries, but not the United Arab Emirates.

 

Libya to investigate 'slave auction' footage

Iraq top court declares Kurd referendum unconstitutional

Saudi Arabia, Arab allies push for unity against Iran, Hezbollah meddling

15 women killed in food aid crush in Morocco

Rare moments of joy at Arabs’ unprecedented World Cup qualifications

UN chief horrified by Libya slave auctions

Qatar 2022 chief has no regrets over hosting World Cup

Gheit says Lebanon should be 'spared' from regional tensions

Syria ‘de-escalation zone’ does nothing to stop civilian deaths

Is a demilitarised Palestinian state a viable option?

S&P affirms good Saudi credit ratings

Israel president faces big backlash over Palestinian scarf

Sudan leader to visit Russia Thursday

Seven years into Libya’s civil war, the chaos continues

Lebanon FM will not attend Arab League Iran summit

Syrian forces liberate Albu Kamal from IS

Israel votes to shut migrant centre, deport Africans

Diplomats from Iran, Russia, Turkey discuss Syria

Libya to investigate ‘slave auction’ footage

Piece by piece, Iran moves towards a ‘new empire’

Netanyahu faces new questioning over corruption case

Syria troops, allies retake most of Albu Kamal from IS

EU cuts funding to Turkey in 2018 budget

Lebanon's Hariri arrives in Paris

Egypt opens Gaza border for first time since unity deal

US-Russia rift threatens fragile prospects for Syria peace

'Caliphate' in tatters but IS still a threat

Saudi Arabia recalls ambassador to Berlin over Gabriel Lebanon comments

Russia again vetoes renewal of Syria gas attacks probe

UN weighs bid to save Syria gas attacks probe

IS attack kills 26 displaced people in Syria

Saudi FM says Lebanon 'held hostage by Hezbollah'

Egypt to open Rafah crossing for 3 days

Turkish troops pulled from NATO drill amid new tensions

Six children among civilians killed in shelling of Eastern Ghouta

US official calls on Sudan to stop 'church demolitions'

Hariri set to leave Saudi Arabia for France

Fears of bombs, IS cells still haunt Mosul

Iraq retakes Rawa, last town held by IS

Riyadh striking deals with people detained in anti-graft purge

Iran criticises French Mideast policy

Russia again blocks UN resolution on Syria action

Israel military chief says ready to cooperate with Saudi Arabia

Egypt confirms death of wanted jihadist

UK denies link between citizen detained in Iran and £400m debt