Turkish officials have been informed that the UK will lift the electronics ban on flights from Turkey, Anadolu Agency reported on July 20, citing diplomatic sources.
According to the sources, British Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan, and Foreign Minister Boris Johnson both called Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to tell him the ban was being lifted.
The United States has ended ban on passengers carrying laptops onboard US bound flights from certain airports in the Middle East and North Africa, bringing to an end one of the controversial travel restrictions imposed by President Donald Trump’s administration, according to data compiled by Reuters on July 20.
Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport was the last of 10 airports to be exempted from the ban, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed in a tweet late on July 19 local time.
Middle East carriers have blamed a fall in demand on US routes on Trump’s travel restrictions imposed in March, which include banning citizens of some Muslim majority countries from visiting the United States.
The ban has been lifted on the nine airlines affected – Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc and EgyptAir. These are the only carriers to fly direct to the United States from the region.
However, the ban remains in place for citizens of six Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, though has been limited after several US court hearings challenged the restrictions.
“The aviation industry has been trying to come together with a united message to governments and stakeholders about regulation and supporting the industry,” said Will Horton, senior analyst at Australian aviation consultancy CAPA, Reuters reported.
IATA, the main organisation representing the international air transport industry, had criticised the laptop ban, calling it ineffective, as security experts argued that militants could travel to the United States via Europe or elsewhere where the restrictions did not apply.