Electronic travel ban lifted on all Etihad flights to the US
The US "laptop ban" that prevented all passengers travelling on flights from the UAE to the US from carrying major electronic devices in the cabin has just been lifted on all Etihad flights.
The airline released an official statement, saying: “Effective immediately, the removal of the restrictions allows passengers flying to the US to carry all laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices onto the aircraft, subject to enhanced security measures.
“We would like to thank our guests for their understanding and loyalty while the ban was in place.”
The move comes after the “successful validation of security measures at the US pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi airport.”
Last week the US Department of Homeland Security imposed a number of broad new demands for increased security on all flights to the US in an attempt to combat terrorism.
The rules will affect an estimated 325,000 passengers a day, flying from 280 airports in 105 countries.
According to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, enhanced screening of electronic devices, more thorough vetting of passengers and increased use of bomb-sniffing dogs are just some of the heightened security measures that will be introduced.
Speaking on the news, a spokesman for the US Department of Homeland Security David Lapan said: “We commend Etihad for working swiftly to implement these additional measures. Their efforts are a model for both foreign and domestic airlines looking to adopt the new measures.”
Lapan added that while the additional safety measures are confidential, passengers and electronic devices would face additional screening.
The news of the lifted electronic travel ban will undoubtedly come as a great to relief to Etihad Airways.
The US is one of Etihad Airways’ largest markets, with 203,515 passengers flying to the US from Abu Dhabi between 1 January and 30 April 2017.
Etihad Airways currently operates 45 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and six cities across the United States.
No news has been announced as to whether the electronic travel ban that was passed in March will be lifted on other local carriers such as Emirates Airline and FlyDubai.