Electronics ban on flights from Turkey to US lifted


The ban to bring electronic devices such as laptops onto aircraft cabins on flights from Turkey to the United States was lifted on Wednesday. The ban was lifted after American security officials visited Turkish airports to monitor security arrangements on Tuesday.

“The Laptop ban on US-bound flights from Turkey have been lifted. The British ban will be lifted very shortly as well.”  Turkey’s Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan said on Wednesday.

The ban has been in effect since March 25, when the United States banned electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from cabins on direct flights to the United States from 10 airports in Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.

Turkish Airlines tweeted the following video to announce the lifting of the ban:

It is reported that Turkish Airlines accepted passengers with electronic devices onto its 6:45 am (0345 GMT) flight from Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport to New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday morning.

Bariscan Koymen, who was flying to New York from Istanbul for a family holiday, said: “We feel relieved by the removal of this restriction since we are going on a long journey. I always carry my laptop that hold my all vacation plans and personal information with me wherever I go.”

Fevzi Kutay Demir, another passenger who was on his way to US for summer school, said he was carrying a tablet aboard his flight.

“The lifting of the ban is positive (news} for us. We came to know about the lifting of ban through the media,” Demir said. 

Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi also said on Wednesday on Twitter that they expected the electronics ban imposed by the British government to be lifted very shortly.

US and British officials carried out inspections of security measures at Ataturk Airport on Tuesday. Initially it was reported that the inspecation would only happen on Wednesday.

The ban was lifted on Sunday for Abu Dhabi Airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In March, the US banned laptops in cabins on flights to the US originating at 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries – Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey – to address fears that bombs could be concealed in electronic devices taken aboard aircraft. 

Britain quickly followed suit with a similar set of restrictions.

Last week, the US unveiled security measures for flights to the country designed to prevent the expansion of the ban to more countries that could cause major logistical problems and deter travel.

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