Like the US, Britain is set to ban passengers from carrying laptops, tablets on flights

Britain on Tuesday said that it is set to ban passengers from carrying most electronic devices on flights from certain countries in the Middle East.

This it said followed similar measures that were introduced in the U.S.

The U.S. imposed restrictions on electronic devices bigger than cellphones on planes coming from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified security threats.

According to security sources, the details of the British ban, which might differ from the U.S. measures, would possibly be confirmed later on Tuesday.

The British government had no immediate comment as at the time of this report.

In a related development, EgyptAir said it received instructions from U.S. transport authorities imposing restrictions on electronic devices carried by incoming travelers and will bring them into effect on March 24.

A spokesperson said: “Based on the instructions coming from transport authorities in the U. S. regarding placing electronic devices in the hold beneath the plane and not the cabin, EgyptAir will implement this decision on all travelers heading to the U.S. as of Friday, March 24.”

The devices include laptops, tablets, cameras, E-readers, portable DVD players, electronic games units, travel printers, and scanners from cabin luggage on certain flights originating from eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

The biggest carrier in the Middle East, Emirates Airline, from Dubai, said in an e-mailed statement the directive comes into effect on March 25, and is valid until October 14.

The new rule, which took effect on Tuesday, applies to nonstop U.S.-bound flights from 10 international airports in the cities of Cairo in Egypt, Amman in Jordan, Kuwait City in Kuwait.

Others are Casablanca in Morocco, Doha in Qatar, Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Istanbul in Turkey, and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.


Source: Reuters/NAN

US to ban laptops and tablets from Middle East-US flights

The US is barring passengers on flights originating in several Muslim-majority countries from carrying any electronic device larger than a cellphone starting on Tuesday, a Middle East-based carrier said.

US officials were not authorized to disclose the details of the ban ahead of a public statement that was scheduled for 10:00 GMT on Tuesday.

The ban was revealed on Monday in statements from Royal Jordanian Airlines and the official news agency of Saudi Arabia.

A US official, on the condition of anonymity, told Associated Press news agency that the ban will apply to nonstop flights to the US from 10 international airports serving the cities of Cairo in Egypt; Amman in Jordan; Kuwait City in Kuwait; Casablanca in Morocco; Doha in Qatar; Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia; Istanbul in Turkey; and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The ban was indefinite, said the official.

A second US official said the ban will affect nine airlines in total, and the Transportation Security Administration will inform the affected airlines at 7:00 GMT on Tuesday.

The move comes a week after President Donald Trump’s second bid to curb travel from a group of Muslim-majority nations was blocked by the courts.

Royal Jordanian said cellphones and medical devices were excluded from the ban. Everything else, such as laptops, tablets, e-readers, DVD players, electronic games and cameras, would need to be packed in checked luggage.

Royal Jordanian said the electronics ban affects its flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal.

David Lapan, a spokesman for Homeland Security Department, declined to comment. The Transportation Security Administration, part of Homeland Security, also declined to comment.

A US government official said such a ban has been considered for several weeks. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose the internal security discussions by the federal government.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly phoned lawmakers over the weekend to brief them on aviation security issues that have prompted the impending electronics ban, according a congressional aide briefed on the discussion.

The aide was not authorised to speak publicly about the issue and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The ban would begin just before Wednesday’s meeting of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in Washington.

A number of top Arab officials were expected to attend the State Department gathering. It was unclear whether their travel plans were related to any increased worry about security threats.


Source: Aljazeera