Middle East

US, UK electronics ban on Middle East flights takes off

electronics ban on Middle East flights

The British ban applied to any device, including smartphones, larger than 16cm long, 9.3cm wide or 1.5cm deep. However, most phones will be smaller than the limit.

London, March 25 : A ban on laptops and tablets in cabin baggage on flights from Turkey and some countries in the Middle East and North Africa to the US and Britain came into effect on Saturday, the media reported.

Officials said devices “larger than a smartphone” must travel in the hold because of an increased risk that they could contain explosives.

However, at least one airline was allowing devices to be used up until boarding, reported BBC.

The US ban covered eight countries, while Britain’s restrictions applied to six.

Nine airlines from eight countries — Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait — were affected by the US ban. They operate about 50 flights a day to the US.

UAE airline Emirates was offering complimentary packing and shipping services at gates to enable passengers to use their electronic devices after check-in and until boarding.

Passengers flying on two-leg trips from other countries to the US through Dubai can use their laptops on the first leg of their flights, said the report.

The United Kingdom ban, meanwhile, affected all flights out of Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Lebanon.

The British ban applied to any device, including smartphones, larger than 16cm long, 9.3cm wide or 1.5cm deep. However, most phones will be smaller than the limit.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the US and Britain to lift the bans as soon as possible, said BBC.

The US Department for Homeland Security cited attacks on planes and airports over the past two years as the reason for the ban.

European security experts will be meeting next week to discuss the electronics ban by both countries, the Guardian reported.

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