U.S. lifts laptop ban on flights from Abu Dhabi

United States lifts ban on laptops in cabins on flights from Abu Dhabi after Etihad Airways complies with tighter security measures.

Ben Ariel ,

Etihad Airways plane
Etihad Airways plane

The United States on Sunday 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, Reuters reported.

Etihad Airways welcomed the decision, and credited a preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport where passengers clear U.S. immigration before they land in the United States for "superior security advantages" that had allowed it to satisfy the American requirements.

Etihad is the only airline that operates direct flights from Abu Dhabi to the United States.

In March, the U.S. placed a ban on electronic devices bigger than mobile phones on direct flights from 10 airports in seven Middle Eastern countries and Turkey.

Britain took similar measures targeting a smaller list of countries: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

While subsequent reports indicated the U.S. was considering expanding the ban to include European flights as well, but last week, it unveiled security measures for flights to the country designed to prevent the expansion of the ban.

A spokesman for the Department for Homeland Security said on Twitter on Sunday that Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi International Airport "have implemented the required initial enhanced security measures."

Etihad Airways operates 45 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and the United States, the company said.