US lifts Qatar Airways laptop ban

Qatar Airways has become the third Gulf carrier in a week to have the US cabin laptop ban lifted.

Passengers will be allowed to take laptops and other large electronic devices in the cabin on flights to and from the US.

The US imposed the ban in March on direct flights from eight mainly Muslim countries to address fears that bombs could be concealed in the devices.

Qatar Airways and its Doha hub airport said they had strengthened security.

The carrier said that “with immediate effect, all personal electronic devices can be carried on board all departures from Hamad International Airport to destinations in the United States”.

The relaxation follows Etihad Airways and Emirates announcing that the electronics ban had been lifted on US-bound flights, alongside Turkish Airlines.

The airlines and their respective hub airports have worked with US authorities to increase their security checks.

Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are yet to announce the ban has been lifted.

US Homeland Security last week announced measures including enhanced screening, more thorough vetting of passengers and the wider use of bomb-sniffer dogs for US-bound flights from 105 countries.

Airlines expressed hopes at the time that the measures would pave the way for the lifting of the electronics ban.

Saudia, the flagship carrier for Saudi Arabia, said this week that passengers would be able to take the electronics on US flights from July 19.

Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “We are pleased to announce that the electronics ban has been lifted from Qatar Airways flights departing to all destinations in the US.

“Safety and security are always our highest priority. They are expressed throughout all of our corporate values, and must never be compromised.

“The security measures in place in Doha allow us to continue to provide our renowned world-class service for all our passengers travelling to the US.

“We look forward to providing our passengers an even greater choice of U.S. destinations soon, with the addition of San Francisco to our expanding network.”


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