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United States lifts electronic devices ban on Qatar Airways flights

10 July 2017

In March, the USA agency banned nine airlines flying from airports in eight Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa from allowing electronics larger than cellphones as carry-on items because of new intelligence about a hidden explosives threat.

Passengers are now allowed to bring personal electronics on board direct flights to the U.S., say the Dubai-based Emirates, Turkish Airways, Qatar Airways and Saudi Arabia's national airline.

The US imposed the ban in March on direct flights from eight Muslim-majority countries - Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey - over security issued that bombs could be hidden in the devices. The bigger devices, including laptops, tablets and game consoles, must be checked as luggage.

U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokesman Mike England said in an email the bans were lifted after Amman and Kuwait airports "implemented the required initial enhanced security measures".

Kuwait Airlines said its passengers could carry on electronics for flights from Kuwait International Airport.

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Qatar Airways joins Emirates [EMIRA.UL], Turkish Airlines (THYAO.IS) and Etihad Airways, which have also announced this week a lifting of the ban on their USA flights. The airline did not describe the new measures.

Several of these airlines have received clearance in recent days to lift the ban.

IATA said the weaker growth was reflective of the laptop ban on US -bound flights and uncertainty over President Trump's proposed travel bans.

The airline has since been putting more flights over Iranian and Turkish airspace while appealing to a United Nations agency overseeing air travel to reopen those routes.

On Wednesday, Qatar's foreign minister said he did not believe Qatar Airways' delay in getting off the laptop ban list had anything to do with the dispute.

United States lifts electronic devices ban on Qatar Airways flights