It joins joined Etihad, Emirates and Turkish Airlines
Qatar Airways has joined Etihad, as well as Emirates and Turkish Airlines, to put security procedures in place that satisfy US authorities, shrugging off a US ban on laptops and electronics in plane cabins.
Despite being accused by other Middle Eastern states, encouraged by the US, of supporting terrorism, Qatar acknowledged that the Doha-based airline was being freed of the ban.
Qatar Airways said that with “immediate effect, all personal electronic devices can be carried onboard all departures from Hamad International Airport to destinations in the United States”.
It added: “Qatar Airways and Hamad international airport have met with all requirements of the US Department of Homeland Security’s new security guidelines and we would like to express our thanks to the US and local authorities for their support during this process.
“We would also like to thank our loyal passengers for their understanding and patience while the ban has been in place.”
The laptop ban still applies to direct US-bound flights from six airports – in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Cairo; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Casablanca, Morocco.
The airlines initially affected by the ban have not commented on specific security procedures, but Turkish officials say they now use CT scanners to take cross-section images of electronics before passengers board. Istanbul’s airport now also restricts US-bound flights to two gates for improved security.
UAE flag carrier Etihad now has a US Customs and Border Protection facility at its Abu Dhabi hub to screen passengers at the same level as they would when landing in the US.
In related news, Qatar Airways has cancelled orders for four Airbus A350s because of delivery delays.
AP / The Guardian