US ban on larger electronics devices starts

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Staff Report

Dubai: US ban on larger electronic devices including laptops and tablets started from Saturday.

Dubai International airport and its flag carrier Emirates started implementing a ban on laptops and tablets on direct flights to the US.

More than one million people are expected to pass through the busiest international airport as the Dubai witnesses UAE spring break, Dubai Airports’ senior vice president for communications Anita Mehra has said.

It is estimated that 260,000 travellers will pass through each day from Friday through Monday. Dubai International Airport expects 89 million passengers this year.

The United States announced a ban on all electronics larger than a standard smartphone on board direct flights out of eight countries across the Middle East. Travellers using 10 airports across the Middle East and North Africa are subject to the ban.

The ban also covers all electronics sold at Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths told local radio earlier this week.

Emirates airline operates 18 flights daily to the United States out of Dubai. In an attempt to appease its customers, the airline announced it would be offering complimentary packing and shipping services at gates to enable passengers to use their electronic devices after check-in and until boarding.

On Saturday, a number of flights out of Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports were delayed due to thunderstorms, including an Emirates flight to Houston.

The US ban affects nine airlines from eight countries: Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Britain has also announced a parallel ban, effective Saturday, targeting all flights out of Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Lebanon.

Abu Dhabi, home to UAE national carrier Etihad Airways, is one of the few international airports with a US Customs and Border Protection Facility, which processes immigration and customs inspections before departure.