USA eases laptop ban for flights from Abu Dhabi airport, says Etihad

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The United States has lifted a ban on laptops in cabins on flights from Abu Dhabi to the United States, saying the United Arab Emirates' Etihad Airways had put in place required tighter security measures.

From any of those airports, US-bound passengers were forced to keep their electronics in checked baggage.

The capital of the United Arab Emirates became the first city to be exempt from a USA ban on laptop computers being in airplane cabins, the country's flag carrier said yesterday.

Etihad Airways, which is the only airline that has direct flights from Abu Dhabi to the US, operates 45 USA -bound flights a week from Abu Dhabi. "We commend Etihad for working swiftly to implement these additional measures".

Passengers flying from Abu Dhabi International Airport were already able to clear screening at a US Customs and Border Protection facility, that they would otherwise have to go through upon their arrival to the States. "Their efforts are a model for both foreign and domestic airlines looking to adopt the new measures".

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Etihad Airways now operates 45 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and six cities across the United States - including double daily to NY, daily to Washington, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles, and three-times-per-week to San Francisco. Neither Abu Dhabi International Airport nor Homeland Security immediately responded to a request for comment.

The U.S. banned laptops on flights coming from 10 different airports in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey in March.

Abu Dhabi already has USA -based security and immigration officials at the airport.

The laptop ban, as well as a Trump administration travel ban on six predominantly Muslim nations, has hurt Gulf long-haul carriers. Dubai-based Emirates has slashed 20 percent of its flights to America in the wake of those decisions.

TheU.S. does not have jurisdictions over foreign airports, but has authority over airlines that have direct USA bound flights.