The Latest: Emirates to enforce US ban on laptops in cabins
CAIRO (AP) – The Latest developments related to the U.S. government move to bar passengers in eight Muslim-majority countries from bringing laptops and other electronics onboard direct flights to the United States (all times local):
The Mideast’s biggest airline is confirming that U.S.-bound passengers will be prevented from carrying electronic gadgets larger than cellphones on its planes.
Dubai-based Emirates said on Tuesday that the ban is based on a security directive from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration and that it will take effect on Saturday.
That guidance differs from the information provided by senior Trump administration officials, who have said the ban will be in place as of Tuesday.
Emirates says the new rules apply until October 14 and apply to all U.S.-bound passengers, including those transiting from other departure cities.
Government-backed Emirates flies from Dubai to a dozen U.S. destinations, including New York, Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles.
Egyptian officials at the Cairo International Airport say they have not received any instructions on banning passengers from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras and some other electronics on board direct flights to the United States.
The officials say that a New York-bound EgyptAir flight departed on Tuesday and that passengers were allowed to take their laptops and other electronics on board in their carry-on luggage.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri was among the passengers on board the New York flight.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.
-Maamoun Youssef in Cairo;
The United Arab Emirates’ national carrier says it has not changed its policies regarding electronics in aircraft cabins, suggesting it has not received new directives from American authorities.
Etihad Airways said in a statement on Tuesday that it will continue to work closely with American officials in the U.S. and at its base in Abu Dhabi, the Emirati capital, but for now its “policies have not changed.”
It says it will update passengers if travel guidelines are revised.
U.S. border officials stationed in Abu Dhabi carry out passport and customs screenings before passengers board U.S.-bound flights under an existing pre-screening program.
A spokesman for Royal Jordanian says the airliner has not yet started to enforce a new U.S. regulation that prevents passengers on U.S.-bound flights from eight countries, including Jordan, from bringing laptops and most other electronics in their carry-on luggage.
Basel Kilani has told The Associated Press that the airline is still awaiting formal instructions from the relevant U.S. departments, which could possibly come later on Tuesday.
Kilani says the new rules were not applied to Royal Jordanian’s direct flight that already departed on Tuesday from Jordan’s capital of Amman to New York.
A Royal Jordanian statement on Twitter late Monday was among the first to reveal the ban. Kilani says the airline later deleted the tweet, preferring to wait for written instructions from the United States.
The reason for the ban was not immediately clear.
The Middle East’s biggest airline says it is not aware of any restrictions on electronics in aircraft cabins on U.S.-bound flights.
Dubai-based Emirates said on Tuesday that it would comply with any new operational or regulatory policies but it so far has “not received any notification of changes to cabin luggage restrictions on U.S. flights.”
The government-backed airline operates daily flights from Dubai International Airport to multiple American cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington.
Dubai International is the world’s busiest airport for international flights. Airport operator Dubai Airports refused to discuss the reported U.S. policy changes. It referred questions to the UAE’s civil aviation authority, which did not immediately respond to questions.
The U.S. government is temporarily barring passengers on certain flights originating in eight Muslim-majority countries from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras and most other electronics in carry-on luggage.
The ban, which seeks to bolster airline security, is to go into effect on Tuesday after the Transportation Security Administration informs the affected airlines.
The ban is indefinite and will affect nine airlines in total.
The reason for the ban was not immediately clear. U.S. security officials would not comment. The ban was revealed Monday in statements from Royal Jordanian Airlines and the official news agency of Saudi Arabia.
A U.S. official told The Associated Press the ban will apply to nonstop flights to the U.S. 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.
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