Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Reactions to US ban of laptops on planes - Governments toeing the line

Published:Wednesday | March 22, 2017 | 12:00 AM
FILE - This May 8, 2014 file photo shows Emirates passenger planes at Dubai airport in United Arab Emirates. (AP)


The latest developments related to the US government's move to bar passengers in eight Muslim-majority countries from bringing laptops and other electronics on-board direct flights to the United States:

Jordan's national carrier says it will begin to restrict most electronics equipment, including laptops, on direct flights to the US, in line with new rules set by the US Department of Homeland Security, starting Friday.

Homeland Security announced yesterday that passengers on US-bound flights at 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa will not be permitted to keep electronics bigger than a cell phone in their carry-ons and will have to check them with their luggage.

The airlines have until early Saturday to implement the rules or face being barred from flying to the US.

n An official at Beirut's Rafik Hariri Airport says passengers heading to Britain will be prohibited from carrying electronics other than mobile phones as of Saturday. The official says Middle East Airlines, Lebanon's national carrier, and British Airways will implement the ban as they are the only carriers that fly between Beirut and London.

n Royal Air Maroc says it is analysing the new rules. The airline, Morocco's national carrier, is one of many affected by the Trump administration's tightening of security measures. The Moroccan government did not formally react Tuesday to the US decision.

n Britain's government has banned electronic devices in the carry-on bags of passengers travelling to the UK from six countries, following closely on a similar ban imposed by the United States. The government says in a statement that Prime Minister Theresa May chaired a meeting on aviation security yesterday in which it was agreed on new aviation security measures on all inbound direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

n Turkey's transportation minister says his country is in talks with United States authorities to "stop or soften" the US restriction on electronics for flights bound from Istanbul to the US.

n Qatar Airways has issued a travel alert to passengers about the new US security guidelines prohibiting them from carrying electronics other than mobile phones on to its US-bound planes. The government-backed carrier said yesterday it has "made special arrangements to assist passengers in securing their devices in the aircraft's baggage hold".