U.S. imposes electronics ban on flights from major Middle Eastern and African airports

  • Posted on: 21 March 2017
  • By: Sanyu FM

Airlines flying directly from eight countries in the Middle East and Africa to the U.S. must prevent passengers from carrying almost all types of electronic devices in the cabin, according to new security restrictions from the Trump administration. Passengers will have to check in any devices bigger than a smartphone -- including iPads, Kindles and laptops -- before clearing security or boarding, U.S. officials said, citing terrorism concerns.

The indefinite ban will affect more than 50 flights from 10 airports in the mainly Muslim countries, including major hubs such as Dubai and Istanbul, according to senior administration officials. The nine airlines affected were notified of the procedures by the U.S. at 3 a.m. ET Tuesday and must comply within 96 hours.

The U.K. is considering introducing a similar ban, and an announcement could come later on Tuesday, government sources said.

Top international carriers -- like Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines -- are among those that will have to implement the ban.

The U.S. officials said intelligence "indicates terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation" by "smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items." The officials declined to provide specific information on the threat or why these particular airports were selected.

"Just evaluating all the intelligence, we believe that the threat is still prominent against aircraft and airports," an official said.

U.S. airlines not affected

The 10 international airports covered by the ban are in Cairo, Egypt; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.; Istanbul, Turkey; Doha, Qatar; Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Casablanca, Morocco; and Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The nine airlines are Egyptair, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines. The officials said U.S. carriers are not affected because none of them fly from the airports in question to the U.S.

Photo Credit: AP

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