Saudia's exemption ends US laptop ban on Middle East airlines

US government announced removal of ban from Jeddah International Airport
Saudia's exemption ends US laptop ban on Middle East airlines
By Parag Deulgaonkar
Tue 18 Jul 2017 12:20 PM

The US on Monday lifted the laptop ban on passengers flying on Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) from Jeddah International Airport, ending its electronics ban on nine Middle Eastern airlines issued in March.

The ban removal was announced in a tweet by US Transportation Security Administration (TSA). However, it did not mention lifting the exemption for Saudia’s US flights from Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport. US government officials are expected to visit the Saudi capital this week to confirm its compliance with the new screening processes. 

Earlier this month, Saudia said it expected the laptop ban to be lifted by July 19. 

In a statement sent to Arabian Business, the carrier said it was working in conjunction with the kingdom’s General Authority of Civil Aviation to implement the new directives from the US Department of Homeland Security.

“Saudia is currently working to meet all requirements outlined by the DHS with this regard. On or before July 19, all guests travelling on Saudia flights to the United States will be permitted to take laptops and PEDs (portable electronic devices) into the aircraft cabin,” a spokesperson said.

Last week, Royal Air Maroc was removed from the list with other airlines such as Etihad Airways, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Kuwait Airways and EgyptAir.

In June, the US Department of Homeland Security said airlines could be removed from the ban if they met tougher security measures, which apply to 180 airlines flying to the US from 280 airports in 105 countries.

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