In the wake of the U.S announcing a ban on electronic devices larger than a smartphone being allowed in cabins of U.S-bound flights originating from any of ten airports in eight predominantly Muslim countries, the U.K has announced similar plans.
In the case of the UK, items such as tablets and laptops will be banned from the cabins of any U.K.-bound flights from Turkey, the Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. “Direct flights to the U.K. from these destinations can continue to operate to the U.K. subject to these new measures being in place,” a government spokesman said, adding that: “The affected airlines have already been informed, and we expect the measures to be in place in the next couple of days.” It is not known when, specifically, the ban will take place.
The decision to announce the ban was made during a meeting on aviation security measures held today, Tuesday, by the U.K. Prime Minister, Theresa May, and it was confirmed that the U.K. government had reached out to U.S. officials before the announcement was made. A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s office said the measures were based on the “same intelligence the U.S. relies on.”
Airports covered by the U.S. ban include: Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) in Jordan, Cairo International Airport (CAI) in Egypt, Ataturk International Airport (IST) in Turkey, King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) and King Khalid International Airport (RUH) in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait International Airport (KWI) in Kuwait, Mohammed V International Airport (CMN) in Morocco, Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Qatar, and Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) in the United Arab Emirates.
It is understood that the ban will affect approximately 50 daily flights, though the ban on devices does not apply to cabin crew.
Turkey’s transport minister, Ahmet Arslan, has criticized the ban, telling reporters in Ankara that it was not “beneficial” for passengers and that Turkey currently has stringent security measures in place. He added that Turkish officials had spoken about the regulations with their American counterparts and were discussing whether the Trump administration should “step back.”
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