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US-bound flights to ban most electronic devices

World news

WORLD / World news 32 Views comments

US-bound passengers travelling from eight countries will be banned from carrying most electronic devices.

An estimated 50 flights per day, all on foreign carriers, from 10 airports in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa, will be affected by the new rules.

The electronics ban will be enforced on flights from airports in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo, Egypt; Istanbul, Turkey; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

"The US Government is concerned about terrorists' ongoing interest in targeting commercial aviation, including transportation hubs over the past two years," the Department of Homeland Security said.

"Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.

"All passengers flying through and from these locations will have to place electronic devices that are larger than a cell phone/smartphone in their checked bags regardless of the passenger's citizenship."

Officials said no US-based airlines have nonstop flights from those cities to the United States and no US carriers are affected.

Turkey has confirmed it is one of the nations affected and has said it will try to get the US to reverse the move.

Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan said the decision was not right: "We particularly emphasise how this will not benefit the passenger and that reverse steps or a softening should be adopted."

Twelve carriers flying from about a dozen countries will be affected by the new rules.

Passengers will still be allowed to keep mobile phones and approved medical devices with them but anything larger, such as laptops, cameras and tablets, will only be permitted in checked luggage.

The ban has been under consideration since the US government learned of a terrorism threat several weeks ago.

Earlier on Monday, Royal Jordanian Airlines told its passengers that laptops, iPads, cameras and other electronics would not be allowed in carry-on luggage for US-bound flights from Tuesday.

In a tweet that now appears to have been deleted, the airline said mobile phones and medical devices were excluded from the ban but all other electronics had to be in checked luggage.

Al Riyadh, a newspaper close to the Saudi government, quoted a civil aviation authority source as saying that the measures were relayed from senior US officials to the Saudi interior ministry.

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