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Monday, August 2, 2021

Laptop ban lifted for passengers on Qatar Airways flights to the US

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Qatar Airways offered laptops for loan to premium passengers during the ban

A ban on bringing larger electronic items onboard some Qatar Airways flights has been scrapped, more than three months after it was introduced.

In a statement, the airline said restrictions on carrying items like laptops and iPads onboard direct flights to the US had been lifted “with immediate effect.”

It added that the carrier and Hamad International Airport have both met all of the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new security guidelines.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

DHS has not explained what these new measures entail.

But CNN said they include “greater scrutiny of passengers entering the US, enhanced screening of electronic devices and better deployment of canines that detect explosives.”

The lifting of the ban is a spot of good news for Qatar Airways. The carrier has seen many of its flights grounded amid an ongoing Gulf dispute.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

“We would like to express our thanks to the US and local authorities for their support during this process,” the airline said.

Doha is the fourth of the affected cities to have the US-imposed restrictions removed.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad saw its ban lifted on Tuesday, while Emirates and Turkish Airlines both announced they had met new security requirements yesterday.

Laptop ban

The so-called “laptop ban” was introduced without warning in March.

At the time, DHS expressed concerns that terrorist groups were looking for ways to attack aircraft, including smuggling explosive devices in electronics.

In response, the US restricted carrying of larger electronic items on direct flights from several Arab cities.

Photo for illustrative purposes only

Saudi Arabian Airlines has said that it hopes to be flying restriction-free by July 19.

But for now, the ban remain in place on direct flights from Riyadh and Jeddah to the US, as well as Cairo, Amman, Kuwait City and Casablanca.

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