Etihad is no longer subject to the US laptop ban
The ban still applies to Emirates passengers flying to the US, however.
Passengers are now able to take electronic devices, including laptops and tablets, onboard Etihad flights to the United States.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline’s “electronics ban” was lifted after it implemented extra security measures and received approval from the US Department of Homeland Security.
Last week, the US Transport Security Administration introduced tougher security standards for all flights to the US. Airlines that fail to adopt these measures risk being fined, barred from entering the US, or made subject to a full electronics ban.
Abu Dhabi was the first airport to meet these new requirements, which is why it was able to have its laptop ban lifted.
Etihad operates 45 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and the US. All passengers travelling to the US from Abu Dhabi Airport must go through a special pre-clearance facility for immigration and customs – the only one of its kind in the Middle East.
In March, the US banned passengers in eight Muslim-majority countries – including the UAE – from bringing large electronic devices into plane cabins, citing terrorist concerns.
Unfortunately, Dubai-based airline Emirates remains subject to the electronics ban. In April, it said it was cutting flights on five US routes because of reduced demand following the travel ban imposed by President Donald Trump and the laptop ban.
In a statement, Emirates said: “We welcome the US Department of Homeland Security’s latest directive on enhanced screening measures. Lifting the ban on bringing laptops and other personal electronic devices onboard will be good news for travellers flying into the USA.
“We look forward to working with the authorities and Dubai airport stakeholders to implement these measures as soon as possible for our US flights.”