Dept. of Homeland Security frees Emirati airline from laptop ban

Posted July 03, 2017

Dubai International Airport, Emirates' home, is the world's busiest international air travel hub.

Under the new rule, which takes effect immediately on Sunday, passengers traveling to the U.S.by Etihad Airways flights are allowed to carry all laptops, tablets and other electronic devices onboard, though they will "be subject to enhanced inspection and inspection procedures".

"We commend Etihad for working swiftly to implement these additional measures", Department of Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan said in an email. "Their efforts are a model for both foreign and domestic airlines".

"We welcome the decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security", an Etihad Airways spokesperson said.

Abu Dhabi has become the first airport to lift the USA electronics ban, it announced today.

Etihad Airways passengers travelling to the U.S. pass through immigration and customs at a pre-clearance facility in Abu Dhabi International Airport's Terminal 3, the company said.

The U.S. banned laptops on flights coming from 10 different airports in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey in March.

Currently, no U. S. carriers operate direct flights to the UAE.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly suggested in a May appearance on Fox News that the ban could be expanded to all worldwide flights, but officials backed away from that proposal last week.

In late May, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said he was considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all worldwide flights to and from the United States. Travelers to the United States clear customs before departing Abu Dhabi, allowing them to skip immigration lines upon arriving in the United States. The security measures include beefed-up passenger screening, closer examination of personal devices like cell phones and iPads and expanded canine screening. Between them, Jet-Etihad flew over a crore passengers in and out of India in calendar year 2016 - making it the largest group in terms of worldwide market share here.