Dubai: Emirates said on Wednesday it has removed an electronics ban on-board its flights to the United States after the airline implemented new security measures to meet the requirements of the US Department of Homeland Security.
The ban lifting is effective immediately.
“Emirates has been working hard in coordination with various aviation stakeholders and local authorities to implement heightened security measures and protocols that meet the requirements of the US Department of Homeland Security’s new security guidelines for all US-bound flights,” an Emirates spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
The carrier said a day earlier that it was implementing new security measures on its US-bound flights in order to comply with guidelines from American authorities and potentially get the electronics ban lifted.
On Wednesday, Turkish Airlines also announced the electronics ban on its flights to the US had been removed.
In a tweet on its official account, Turkish Airlines said: “Welcome on board to our US-bound flight. Please fasten your seat belts and enjoy your own electronic devices.”
The carrier tweeted a 24-second video of passengers using their personal devices on-board its aircraft.
The announcements from both Emirates and Turkish Airlines come a few days after Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways fully removed the electronics ban on-board its flights to the US after receiving approval from the US authorities to do so.
The approval for Etihad followed a validation of security measures at the US Preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport, where the carrier is based. The airport is the only one in the region with such a facility.
With the ban on Emirates and Etihad now removed, Qatar Airways is the only major Gulf carrier still affected by the ban.
Other airlines in the Middle East are also trying to get the ban lifted from their US-bound flights.
On Tuesday, Saudi Arabian Airlines said it expects the ban to be lifted by July 19, according to state news agency SPA.
Similarly, Royal Jordanian has asked for the US Transportation Services Authority to approve its response to the new guidelines requiring stricter security scans, Bloomberg reported.
The ban on carry-on devices larger than a smartphone on direct flights to the US was implemented in March, and affected airlines flying from 10 Middle Eastern airports, including Abu Dhabi International and Dubai International.
Airports still affected by the ban that do not seem to have a resolution in sight include those in Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco and Qatar.
The ban, coupled with US measures to curb the entry of Muslims into the country has hit local airlines’ performance.
In May, Emirates reduced frequencies to five of the 12 US destinations it operates to owing to the electronics ban as well as visa restrictions.