Qatar Airways said on Thursday that passengers traveling to the U.S. can now carry their laptops and other large electronics on board, ending a three month in-cabin ban on devices for the Doha-based airline.
Qatar Airways joins Emirates, Turkish Airlines and Etihad Airways who have also announced this week a lifting of the U.S. ban on their flights.
In March, the U.S. imposed the ban on direct flights originating at 10 airports in eight countries, including Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey, to address fears that bombs could be concealed in electronic devices taken aboard aircraft.
"Qatar Airways is pleased to confirm that with immediate effect, all personal electronic devices can be carried on board all departures from Hamad International Airport to the United States," the airline said.
Qatar Airways said the ban had been lifted after the airline and its hub airport Hamad International met with all new U.S. security requirements.
U.S. transport officials were due to visit Qatar Airways, Emirates and Turkish Airlines on Wednesday to check that the latest measures are in place, a spokesman for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) told Reuters on Wednesday.
Washington drew up the new guidelines after intelligence officials learnt of efforts by the Daesh terrorist group to produce a bomb that could be hidden inside electronic devices.
They required the installation of sophisticated imaging technology for X-ray and ultrasound screening of carry-on devices. All other electronic devices larger than a mobile phone had to be transported only in checked luggage.
The U.S. announced on June 29 enhanced security measures for flights to the country which require additional time to screen passengers and personal electronic devices for possible explosives.
The new measures, which take effect within three weeks of the announcement, will affect around 325,000 daily passengers traveling on 180 airlines from 280 airports around the world, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Airlines that fail to meet the new security requirements could still face in-cabin electronics restrictions.
Saudi Arabia Airlines (Saudia) expects the ban to be lifted on flights from Jeddah and Riyadh by July 19, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday.
Other airlines affected by the ban include Royal Jordanian , Kuwait Airways, EgyptAir and Royal Air Maroc.
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