The Latest: Royal Jordanian to enforce ban starting Friday
CAIRO (AP) — The Latest developments related to the U.S. government move to bar passengers in eight Muslim-majority countries from bringing laptops and other electronics onboard direct flights to the United States (all times local):
Jordan’s national carrier says it will begin to restrict most electronics equipment, including laptops, on direct flights to the U.S., in line with new rules set by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, starting Friday.
Royal Jordanian flies from the Jordanian capital of Amman to New York, Chicago and Detroit.
Homeland Security announced Tuesday that passengers on U.S.-bound flights at 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa will not be permitted to keep electronics bigger than a cellphone in their carry-ons and will have to check them with their luggage.
The airlines have until early Saturday to implement the rules or face being barred from flying to the U.S.
An official at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri Airport says passengers heading to Britain will be prohibited from carrying electronics other than mobile phones as of Saturday.
The official says Middle East Airlines, Lebanon’s national carrier, and British Airways will implement the ban as they are the only carriers that fly between Beirut and London.
The official spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
There are no direct flights between Beirut and north America.
--Bassem Mroue in Beirut
Royal Air Maroc says it is analyzing new rules set by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security restricting electronics onboard some flights.
The airline, Morocco’s national carrier, is one of many affected by the Trump administration’s tightening of security measures.
The carrier added in a statement Tuesday that it would further communicate on the “terms and date of entry into force of these new provisions.”
The Moroccan government did not formally react Tuesday to the U.S. decision.
Casablanca airport is a major hub in Africa and Morocco’s busiest airport, serving some 8 million passengers a year.
The U.S. government is barring passengers on U.S.-bound flights from eight countries from bringing some devices on board in carry-on bags.
Britain’s government has banned electronic devices in the carry-on bags of passengers traveling to the U.K. from six countries, following closely on a similar ban imposed by the United States.
The government says in a statement that Prime Minister Theresa May chaired a meeting on aviation security earlier Tuesday in which it was agreed that new aviation security measures on all inbound direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
The statement says that Britain has been in touch with the Americans to fully understand their position.
Under the new arrangements, passengers on the flights “will not be allowed to take any phones, laptops or tablets larger than a normal sized mobile or smart phone,” into the cabin.
Turkey’s transportation minister says his country is in talks with United States authorities to “stop or soften” the U.S. restriction on electronics for flights bound from Istanbul to the U.S.
Minister Ahmet Arslan objected to the restriction on Tuesday, saying it would reduce both the comfort and number of passengers, the private Dogan news agency reported.
Arslan urged the U.S. to “not confuse Istanbul with other places,” saying that Turkish authorities already take every possible security precaution. He added Turkey expects the issue to be resolved in the coming days.
Turkey’s main carrier, Turkish Airlines, posted a notice on its website informing passengers to not bring on board “any electronic or electrical devices larger than a cellphone or smartphone (except medical devices)” to flights arriving in U.S. destinations.
Britain’s Department for Transport says it will make an announcement later about electronic devices on airplanes.
The department would not disclose details on the measure expected later Tuesday.
Britain’s Sky News and the and BBC report that Britain will announce a ban on carrying devices larger than phones in airplane cabins on flights from some countries.
The U.S. government has moved to bar passengers in eight Muslim-majority countries from bringing laptops and other electronics onboard direct flights to the United States.
Some airlines in the Middle East began notifying passengers early Tuesday that they had instructions to bar passengers from bringing iPads, laptops and other electronic devices on U.S. bound planes.
It was unclear whether Britain’s order would mirror that of the U.S.
Qatar Airways has issued a travel alert to passengers about the new U.S. security guidelines prohibiting them from carrying electronics other than mobile phones onto its U.S.-bound planes.
The government-backed carrier said Tuesday it has “made special arrangements to assist passengers in securing their devices in the aircraft’s baggage hold,” without elaborating.
Qatar Airways flies to multiple American cities from its hub in Doha, Qatar, including New York, Atlanta, Miami and Chicago.
A former Jordanian aviation security official says requiring airline passengers to place most electronics, including laptops, in the cargo hold means “one less headache” for security agencies.
Jamil al-Qsous said Tuesday that he supports a new U.S. regulation that bars passengers on nonstop, U.S.-bound flights from eight countries, most in the Middle East and North Africa, from bringing electronic devices on board in carry-on bags.
Al-Qsous says security measures at Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport are among the most stringent in the region. He says that nonetheless “it’s the right decision” to keep most electronics in the cargo hold and have “one less headache to be concerned” about.
He says he believes the U.S. has the right to set the rules for flights landing on its territory.
EgyptAir says it has received instructions from U.S. authorities to prevent passengers from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras and other electronics on board direct flights from Cairo to the United States.
The state-run carrier said Tuesday that the new instructions received from JFK airport will be applied on its next first direct flight to New York on Friday and that all passengers will be informed in due time.
Before receiving the new ban details, EgyptAir’s New York-bound flight departed on Tuesday allowing passengers to take their laptops and other electronics on board in their carry-on luggage.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri was among the passengers on board the New York flight.
The Mideast’s biggest airline is confirming that U.S.-bound passengers will be prevented from carrying electronic gadgets larger than cellphones on its planes.
Dubai-based Emirates said on Tuesday that the ban is based on a security directive from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration and that it will take effect on Saturday.
That guidance differs from the information provided by senior Trump administration officials, who have said the ban will be in place as of Tuesday.
Emirates says the new rules apply until October 14 and apply to all U.S.-bound passengers, including those transiting from other departure cities.
Government-backed Emirates flies from Dubai to a dozen U.S. destinations, including New York, Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles.
___ 10:05 a.m. Egyptian officials at the Cairo International Airport say they have not received any instructions on banning passengers from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras and some other electronics on board direct flights to the United States.
The officials say that a New York-bound EgyptAir flight departed on Tuesday and that passengers were allowed to take their laptops and other electronics on board in their carry-on luggage.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri was among the passengers on board the New York flight.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.
—Maamoun Youssef in Cairo; ___ 10 a.m. The United Arab Emirates’ national carrier says it has not changed its policies regarding electronics in aircraft cabins, suggesting it has not received new directives from American authorities.
Etihad Airways said in a statement on Tuesday that it will continue to work closely with American officials in the U.S. and at its base in Abu Dhabi, the Emirati capital, but for now its “policies have not changed.”
It says it will update passengers if travel guidelines are revised.
U.S. border officials stationed in Abu Dhabi carry out passport and customs screenings before passengers board U.S.-bound flights under an existing pre-screening program.
A spokesman for Royal Jordanian says the airliner has not yet started to enforce a new U.S. regulation that prevents passengers on U.S.-bound flights from eight countries, including Jordan, from bringing laptops and most other electronics in their carry-on luggage.
Basel Kilani has told The Associated Press that the airline is still awaiting formal instructions from the relevant U.S. departments, which could possibly come later on Tuesday.
Kilani says the new rules were not applied to Royal Jordanian’s direct flight that already departed on Tuesday from Jordan’s capital of Amman to New York.
A Royal Jordanian statement on Twitter late Monday was among the first to reveal the ban. Kilani says the airline later deleted the tweet, preferring to wait for written instructions from the United States.
The reason for the ban was not immediately clear.
The Middle East’s biggest airline says it is not aware of any restrictions on electronics in aircraft cabins on U.S.-bound flights.
Dubai-based Emirates said on Tuesday that it would comply with any new operational or regulatory policies but it so far has “not received any notification of changes to cabin luggage restrictions on U.S. flights.”
The government-backed airline operates daily flights from Dubai International Airport to multiple American cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington.
Dubai International is the world’s busiest airport for international flights. Airport operator Dubai Airports refused to discuss the reported U.S. policy changes. It referred questions to the UAE’s civil aviation authority, which did not immediately respond to questions.
The U.S. government is temporarily barring passengers on certain flights originating in eight Muslim-majority countries from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras and most other electronics in carry-on luggage.
The ban, which seeks to bolster airline security, is to go into effect on Tuesday after the Transportation Security Administration informs the affected airlines.
The ban is indefinite and will affect nine airlines in total.
The reason for the ban was not immediately clear. U.S. security officials would not comment. The ban was revealed Monday in statements from Royal Jordanian Airlines and the official news agency of Saudi Arabia.
A U.S. official told The Associated Press the ban will apply to nonstop flights to the U.S. from 10 international airports serving the cities of Cairo in Egypt; Amman in Jordan; Kuwait City in Kuwait; Casablanca in Morocco; Doha in Qatar; Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia; Istanbul in Turkey; and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.