Doha-based Qatar Airways joins Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, Turkey-based Turkish Airways, and Dubai-based Emirates in being excused from the laptop ban
Qatar Airways was among the group of airlines originating from the Middle East North African Region that were forced to instate bans on carrying electronic devices larger than a smart phone into the cabin of the airplane on all U.S.-bound flights.
The ban was implemented over concerns terrorist groups such as ISIS could conceal explosives into large electronic devices, particularly laptops.
Qatar Airways is the most recent airline to have been approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as meeting all newly instated security regulations.
Qatar has been in difficulty since June 5th, when neighbors Bahrain, Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar, blocking flight paths over any of the aforementioned countries.
Qatar’s foreign minister doesn’t believe political situation has anything to do with delayed exemption from laptop ban
The airline company stated: “ [With] immediate effect, all personal electronic devices can be carried on board all departures from Hamad International Airport to destinations in the United States.”
“Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport have met with all requirements of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s new security guidelines and we would like to express our thanks to the U.S. and local authorities for their support during this process.”
Qatar Airways did not respond to questions regarding its new security procedures, and neither did the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani stated that Qatar Airways delay in getting exempt from the laptop ban was unrelated to Qatar’s political issues.
“This is an ongoing process and I think irrelevant to the entire political crisis,” he said in London.
Saudi Arabian Airlines hopes to be the next airline off the ban list, “on or before July 19th”.