Etihad flights exempt from USA laptop ban after security beefed up

USA security officials said the move was in response to terrorist intelligence about bombs being concealed in electronic devices.

The lifting of the ban followed "an in-depth review of security procedures implemented at the Abu Dhabi International Airport Pre-clearance Centre", Xinhua quoted the government-controlled carrier as saying.

"Emirates is working hard in coordination with aviation stakeholders and the local authorities to implement heightened security measures and protocols that meet the requirements of the USA department of homeland security's new guidelines for all U.S. bound flights", the airline said in a statement on Tuesday. "Their efforts are a model for both foreign and domestic airlines".

The move makes Abu Dhabi the only airport in the region to have new stringent security measures in place, and gives Etihad a competitive advantage over other carriers, at least until more airports beef up their security.

Etihad Aviation Group applauded the decision.

It requires enhanced screening of passengers and devices at 280 airports globally, impacting 180 airlines.

"The removal of the restrictions allows passengers flying to the U.S.to carry all laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices onto the aircraft, subject to enhanced security measures", the airline said in a statement Sunday.

Earlier this week, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad airline announced that the restrictions would be lifted on flights from Abu Dhabi to the U.S., following the "successful validation" of security measures at the USA preclearance facility at the Abu Dhabi airport, which allows US-bound travellers to clear United States immigration and customs at the Airport and arrive in the United States as domestic passengers.

Last week, the United States government imposed broad new demands for increased airport security on flights to America from other countries in an attempt to combat the threat of terrorists hiding bombs in laptops. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell) Passengers check into a flight at Abu Dhabi International Airport in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

  • Eleanor Harrison