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07 July 2017, 12:59 | Melanie Burgess
Qatar Airways plane is seen in Doha Thomson Reuters
Qatar Airways joins other Middle Eastern airline carriers like Emirates, Turkish Airlines, and EtihadAirways who also announced lifting a US ban on their flights this week.
The US has lifted its laptop ban on flights from Doha after the country agreed to implement enhanced safety restrictions.
The ban on personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone, along with efforts by US president Donald Trump to prohibit citizens from several Muslim-majority nations from entering the country, has most affected traffic among the three big Persian Gulf airports in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, all three of which now enjoy an exemption from the laptop ban.
The airline gained the exemption earlier today after USA officials inspected the security measures in full operation at Qatar's state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport (HIA), an airport recently awarded five stars by Skytrax, the first airport in the Middle East to be bestowed with this recognition.
PASSENGERS can now carry personal electronic devices on board Qatar Airways flights departing from Doha's Hamad International Airport for the United States, it said in a release on Thursday.
It added that the carrier and Hamad International Airport have both met all of the US Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) new security guidelines.
In April, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker called the ban "not necessary". "If [you] continue this way, at the end of the day you will have people sitting in the airplane with underwear and nothing [else] on them".
Aircraft from its Persian Gulf partner have been deployed on British Airways' short-haul routes, allowing the United Kingdom carrier to operate nearly all flights as normal on Monday, the first working day since the strike began Saturday.
According to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) via USA Today, Middle East airlines reported a modest 3.7 percent rise in passenger demand in May, compared to same month during 2016.
Qatar Airways and its Doha hub airport said they had strengthened security. Passengers flying to the USA from those airports can only take mobile phones into the aircraft cabin.
Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are yet to announce the ban has been lifted.
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