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Wednesday, 10 May 2017 11:16

US may extend airline laptop ban to UK, Europe Featured

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The US is reportedly looking at extending a ban on allowing laptops into the cabins of airlines to European countries and the UK.

A report in The Hill cited CBS News as reporting that the Trump administration was looking at the benefits and travel disruptions that could be caused if the ban, which is now in force for some Middle Eastern and African airports, was extended to the UK and Europe.

The ban on carrying anything larger than a mobile phone on one's person while flying came into force in March. The US move was promptly followed by the UK but the two countries banned a differing list of airlines, with the latter including some British carriers as well.

The Hill quoted a spokesperson of the US Transport Security Administration as saying: "We have not made any decisions on expanding the electronics ban; however, we are continuously assessing security directives based on intelligence and will make changes when necessary to keep travellers safe."

The airports hit by the US ban are: Queen Alia International Airport (Jordan), Cairo International Airport (Egypt), Ataturk International Airport (Turkey), King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (Saudi Arabia), King Khalid International Airport (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait International Airport, Mohammed V Airport (Morocco), Hamad International Airport (Qatar), Dubai International Airport (United Arab Emirates) and Abu Dhabi International Airport (United Arab Emirates).

The UK ban affects Middle Eastern carriers Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways , Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways. British carrier affected are British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson. And foreign carriers affected are Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Tunis Air and Saudia.

There have been suggestions that the US device ban has been driven by a desire to make American airlines, which have long complained about Middle Eastern competitors, competitive.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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