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Qatar Airways says flights now exempt from US laptop ban

Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300 on the Tarmac of Le Bourget airport. PHOTO | ERIC PIERMONT | AFP
Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300 on the Tarmac of Le Bourget airport. PHOTO | ERIC PIERMONT | AFP 

Qatar Airways announced on Thursday that it had won exemption from a US ban on passengers taking laptops and tablet computers on flights from its Doha hub.

It is the latest carrier after Abu Dhabi's Etihad, Dubai's Emirates and Turkish Airlines to meet new rules imposed by Washington in March for direct flights from 10 airports in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa.

"Qatar Airways is pleased to confirm that with immediate effect, all personal electronic devices can be carried on board all departures from Hamad International Airport to the United States," the airline said.

"Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport have met with all requirements of the US Department of Homeland Security's new security guidelines."

Washington drew up the new guidelines after intelligence officials learnt of efforts by the Islamic State group to produce a bomb that could be hidden inside electronic devices.

They required the installation of sophisticated imaging technology for X-ray and ultrasound screening of carry-on devices.

All other electronic devices larger than a mobile phone had to be transported only in checked luggage.

Etihad was the first airline to meet the new requirements, with its exemption starting on Sunday.

It was followed by Turkish Airlines and Emirates on Wednesday.

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