US confirms it has lifted laptop ban on EgyptAir flights

Source:Reuters-Global Times Published: 2017/7/13 17:48:40

The US Department of Homeland Security said on Wednesday that it has lifted a ban that prohibited passengers flying on state-owned EgyptAir flights bound for the US from using laptops. This leaves just two Middle Eastern airlines still under such restrictions first imposed in March.

EgyptAir early on Wednesday announced the lifting of the restrictions on its flights from Cairo to New York, but noted that they remain in effect for flights to London.

Saudi Arabian Airlines, also known as Saudia, said in a statement that it expected the ban to be lifted on flights from Jeddah and Riyadh by July 19. Moroccan airline Royal Air Maroc believes it could be exempt from the ban for flights out of Casablanca's Mohammed V International Airport by July 19 also, a senior official of the airline said in a statement.

A Homeland Security spokesman, David Lapan, said the July 19 date is a "realistic" timetable for a decision on the two airlines.

The measures were imposed in March on nine airlines, most of which were Middle Eastern carriers, to address the potential threat of hidden explosives in laptops and other devices.

On June 28, US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly unveiled enhanced security measures for all foreign flights arriving in the US, which officials said were designed to end a limited in-cabin ban on laptops and prevent the ban's expansion to additional airports.

European and US officials said that airlines had 21 days from June 28 to put in place increased explosive trace detection screenings and 120 days to comply with other security measures, including enhanced screening of passengers.

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