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Emirates, Turkish airlines join Etihad in lifting laptop ban on US flights

Dubai’s Emirates Airline and Turkish Airlines have become the latest carriers to be exempted from a ban on laptops inside cabins on flights to the United States.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways announced on Tuesday that its hub airport had been cleared to lift the ban after implementing extra security measures.

In March, the US government imposed restrictions on electronic devices carried by travellers coming to the US from 10 airports mainly in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified terror threats.

“Effective immediately laptops & electronic devices can be taken onboard all Emirates flights from Dubai to the US,” the airline tweeted on Wednesday.

Emirates, which flies to 12 US cities, had announced in April that it was going reduce flights on five US routes from the following month citing a drop in demand after heightened restrictions imposed by President Donald Trump’s administration for travellers from Muslim-majority nations.

Turkish Airline said its passengers travelling to New York John F. Kennedy International Airport from İstanbul Atatürk Airport carried their electronic devices on the 6:45 am flight number TK-3.

‘‘During 102 days,  81,736 electronic devices were carefully collected from our passengers at gates by our staff and carried in overprotected baggage on 1,087 flights to the US,” said M. İlker Aycı, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines, after lifting the ban on this first flight.

“75 per cent of devices were laptops and tablets while 25 per cent of devices consisted of  cameras, GPS devices and kindles.

“I would like to express my  gratitude to all my colleagues who carried out this operation with a sense of mission  and sensibility,” Aycı added.

The airports affected by the ban are Amman, Cairo, Kuwait City, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Casablanca, Morocco; Riyadh and Jeddah.