The Trump administration’s laptop ban has been lifted for US-bound flights out of Dubai and Istanbul, according to Emirates and Turkish Airlines.
In a statement to Reuters on Wednesday, an Emirates spokeswoman said that the in-cabin ban on laptops and large electronic devices was lifted for flights out of Dubai after the airline implemented new security measures that the US Department of Homeland Security announced last week. Turkish Airlines said that the ban had been lifted in a tweet on Tuesday, with CEO Bilal Eksi adding that he also expected the ban to be lifted on UK-bound flights, according to Reuters.
The new US security protocol calls for more rigorous screening of passengers and electronics, as well as measures aimed at thwarting “insider attacks.” On Sunday, Etihad Airways announced that it had been exempted from the laptop ban after US officials determined that the airline was conducting more through passenger screening at Abu Dhabi International Airport, where Etihad is the national carrier.
The US imposed an in-flight ban on laptops and large electronics in March, saying that “evaluated intelligence” showed that terrorists were developing smaller bombs that could be integrated in gadgets. The ban applied to 10 airports in eight majority-Muslim countries. The UK later announced a similar ban on flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
Emirates has been critical of the US ban, saying that it led to a decline in demand for US-bound flights. In May, the airline reported an 82 percent decline in annual profit, which it blamed, in part, on the US restrictions.
On Tuesday, Saudi Arabian Airlines said that it expected the laptop ban to be lifted on US-bound flights out of Jeddah and Riyadh by July 19th, according to state media. But US officials tell Reuters that it is too soon to say whether the airline will comply with the new safety measures.