Qatar Airways Removed from US Laptop Ban List
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Gulf Times -- Qatar Airways joined two other major long-haul Gulf carriers on Thursday in getting off a US ban on laptops and large electronics in airplane cabins.
Qatar Airways said that with "immediate effect, all personal electronic devices can be carried on board all departures from Hamad International Airport (HIA) to destinations in the United States." HIA in Doha is the hub of Qatar Airways.
"Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport have met with all requirements of the US Department of Homeland Security's new security guidelines and we would like to express our thanks to the US and local authorities for their support during this process," the airline said in a statement. "We would also like to thank our loyal passengers for their understanding and patience while the ban has been in place."
Qatar Airways, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, Dubai-based Emirates and Istanbul-based Turkish Airlines all have put security procedures in place to satisfy American authorities. US officials instituted the ban in March across 10 Middle East cities over concerns extremists could hide bombs inside of laptops.
The US laptop ban still applies to nonstop US-bound flights from six airports in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Cairo; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Casablanca, Morocco. Saudi Arabian Airlines has said it hopes to be off the ban list "on or before July 19."
While Gulf airlines have not commented on security procedures, Turkish officials say they use CT scanners to take cross-section images of electronics just before passengers board airplanes heading to the US. Istanbul airport now also restricts US-bound flights to two departure gates, apparently for better security.