Qatar Airways sees USA laptop ban lifted

07 July, 2017, 01:02 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • A Qatar Airways plane is seen in Doha Qatar

Qatar Airways joins other Middle Eastern airline carriers like Emirates, Turkish Airlines, and Etihad Airways who also announced lifting a USA ban on their flights this week.

The Department of Homeland Security announced last week that airports and airlines would be removed from the ban once they comply with enhanced security directives.

The U.S. "laptop ban" was introduced in March, essentially restricting passengers traveling from nine Muslim-majority countries from carrying devices larger than a smart-phone into the cabin with them. Qatar Airways has today announced that it too has been exempted from the ban which affected its flights from Hamad International Airport, Doha.

"Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport have met with all requirements of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's new security guidelines", the airline said in a statement, referring to the airport in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

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IAG SA's British Airways is responding to a strike by London Heathrow-based cabin crews by deploying planes from top shareholder Qatar Airways Ltd.

Qatar Airways originally attempted to skirt the ban by lending laptops to business class customers.

Middle East carriers saw demand rise by 3.7 percent in May compared with a year earlier, close to an eight-year low, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday.

The ban continues to affect flights traveling to the USA from seven other airports in the M.E.N.A. region, and affects six airlines.

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Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker told reporters in Dublin the airline was found to be in compliance with the "new draconian requirements" after an audit over the previous two days.

The DHS also lifted the ban for Etihad Airways, based in Abu-Dhabi, after it instated additional security measures.

"We look forward to providing our passengers an even greater choice of USA destinations soon, with the addition of San Francisco to our expanding network, on board the most modern of aircraft including the Airbus A350 and our Q-suite retrofitted Boeing 777 aircraft".

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