Is the USA considering banning laptops on all flights from Europe?

Evrard Martin
Mai 16, 2017

Emirates, the Middle East's largest airline, this week cited the ban on electronics as one of the reasons for an 80 percent drop in profits past year.

The Department of Homeland Security may ban passengers from carrying laptops onto some US -bound flights from Europe, expanding on a ban imposed on some flights from the Middle East and North Africa, sources say.

The current ban applies to 10 airports in eight majority-Muslim countries: Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, and applies to about 50 flights a day, NPR's Greg Myre reported.

Passengers traveling with affected devices will be required to store them in their checked baggage.

The US said airlines flying to the United States from European airports that would be involved in implementing the ban have been given a warning that it is under consideration.

John Kelly also met with senators from relevant committees today to "discuss numerous DHS activities to protect the homeland", says a DHS spokesperson.

The sources stressed that no final decision had been made.

"This is not taking place", Jankovec said at a CAPA Centre for Aviation industry conference near Dublin.The United States imposed the ban in March and was quickly followed by Britain which imposed restrictions on a slightly different set of routes. The ban is expected to hit one of the busiest and most lucrative travel markets of the world, just ahead of the peak season by disrupting people's ability to work during long-haul flights, a report by Bloomberg said. As of now, there are no plans to expand the ban to flights leaving the U.S.

But a USA official disagreed with that assessment. "We are acting on specific intelligence".

Roughly 40% of overseas travelers to the USA come from Europe, crossing the Atlantic on more than 350 flights a day.

The airlines declined to comment. Approved medical devices are exempt, but must go through additional screening.

Alarm bells are already ringing in Europe, however.

European Commission transport spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen confirmed the talks will be held Friday.

The officials had asked that the USA and Europe continue to cooperate on a "joint response to shared threats".

She said the European Union had no new information about a specific security concern.

Kelly said last month the ban was likely to expand, given the sophisticated threats in aviation and intelligence findings that would-be attackers were trying to hide explosives in electronic devices.

But that argument hasn't won over the industry.

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