Etihad passengers can now once again take laptops and other large electronic devices on board flights from Abu Dhabi airport to the US, following the lifting of restrictions.
The laptop ban had been put in place by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) earlier this year, covering flights from ten Middle Eastern airports to the US, including Etihad’s Abu Dhabi base.
But the carrier has now confirmed that restrictions have been lifted, “following the successful validation of security measures at the US Preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi airport”.
In a statement Etihad said that “We welcome the decision by the US Department of Homeland Security to lift the electronic devices ban on flights between Abu Dhabi and the United States”, adding:
“Effective immediately, the removal of the restrictions allows passengers flying to the US to carry all laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices onto the aircraft, subject to enhanced security measures.
“We would like to thank our guests for their understanding and loyalty while the ban was in place.”
The enhanced security measures had been announced by the DHS last week, with the department stating at the time that the laptop ban could be removed “should the ten airports comply with the enhanced security measures outlined in the TSA directive issued June 28, 2017 and when such procedures are verified by TSA inspectors”.
The carrier also said that “it is anticipated that Etihad Airways is one of the first airlines to be able to satisfy the short-term measures required by the Transportation Security Administration due to the superior security advantages provided by the preclearance facility”.
Business Traveller understands that the ban currently remains in place at the other nine airports on the list. A spokesperson for Dubai Airports said:
“Dubai Airports confirms that there have been no changes as yet to the restrictions placed on the carriage of personal electronic devices larger than a smartphone onboard aircraft by the Transport Security Administration for flights operating to the US.”
“We have offered our full cooperation to work with regulatory officials, control authorities and Emirates airline to satisfy the US directive as quickly as possible but there are no timelines to announce at this point.”