The US-imposed ban on carrying personal electronic devices on flights to US that originate from Qatar has been lifted. Qatar Airways has confirmed that it is now allowing passengers to carry all personal electronic device on board all departures from Hamad International Airport to the United States. The airline released a statement on Thursday that said: “Qatar Airways is pleased to confirm that with immediate effect, all personal electronic devices can be carried on board all departures from Hamad International Airport to destinations in the United States.
Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport have met with all requirements of the US Department of Homeland Security’s new security guidelines and we would like to express our thanks to the US and local authorities for their support during this process. We would also like to thank our loyal passengers for their understanding and patience while the ban has been in place.”
Hamad International Airport is located in Qatar’s capital Doha and it is the primary hub of operation for Qatar Airways. It is also the originating point for most of its long-haul flights to the US.
The decision is in connection to an earlier ban that was imposed in March this year by the US Department of Homeland Security on flights from several Gulf countries. Qatar Airways is now one of three long-haul airlines from the Gulf that have spared from the ‘laptop ban’.
The US DHS ban applied on flights originating in airports in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey. The DHS feared that someone could conceal bombs in the form of electronic devices and carry it onboard.
Qatar Airways’ ban removal is after the same was done for the Abu-Dhabi-based Etihad, the Dubai-based Emirates and Istanbul-based Turkish Airlines were taken off the ban. The ban, however, still applies on direct-US bound flights from six airports in Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Morocco.
Other airlines in the Gulf are also reportedly negotiating with the US authorities to come to some compromise so that they could be taken off the ban. The ban also applies to US citizens who are flying on these ban-imposed flights. However, it doesn’t apply to the crew.