|21 March, 2017

Ban on electronic devices: UAE airlines not advised of any new U.S. flight restrictions

Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways have not been advised of any new restrictions on carrying electronic devices on U.S. flights.

21 March 2017

Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways have not been advised of any new restrictions on carrying electronic devices on U.S. flights, the airlines said on Tuesday. The Department of Homeland Security is expected to announce on Tuesday passengers traveling on certain U.S. bound flights will have to check electronic devices larger than a new cell phone, U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday.

A government official confirmed an Associated Press report that the ban will affect 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Some media reports claimed airlines from the United Arab Emirates will be included on the list.

An Emirates spokesperson said: "At this time we have not received any notification of changes to cabin luggage restrictions on US flights. Emirates will comply with any new operational or regulatory requirements issued by the relevant authorities. We will update our website/social channels should the situation change.”

An Etihad spokesperson said: “The airline’s policies have not changed but we will continue to work closely with the authorities in the USA and here in Abu Dhabi through the officials of the Customs and Border Protection Unit at the airport. If the guidance is revised, we will ensure our passengers are updated accordingly as safety and security remain a top priority.”

Al Jazeera reported that Saudi Arabian Airlines on Monday informed passengers through a posting on Twitter that changes on cabin luggage restrictions were imminent.

Royal Jordanian Airlines said in a tweet on Monday that U.S.-bound passengers would be barred from carrying most electronic devices aboard aircraft starting Tuesday at the request of U.S. officials, including those that transit through Canada.

Last week, passengers from six mainly Muslim countries who would have been barred from the United States under President Donald Trump's latest travel order were allowed to board U.S.-bound flights on Emirates and Etihad Airways after a federal judge blocked the order.

The executive order banning refugees and nationals of six Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the U.S. was temporarily halted on Wednesday, hours before it was to go into effect, by a federal judge in Hawaii.

Even before the latest restrictions were revealed, Emirates, the world's largest long-haul carrier, said it was concerned President Donald Trump’s travel ban will still deter Muslim visitors traveling to America, after booking rates on U.S. flights fell 35 percent following Trump's original travel ban in January.

© Express 2017

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