ABU DHABI, March 24 The United Arab Emirates,
one of the world's top aviation hubs, has said it was surprised
by the ban on laptops in plane cabins bound for the United
States because UAE security was already tight, but it pledged to
cooperate with U.S. authorities.
Washington announced the new measure on Tuesday, prohibiting
electronic devices larger than smart phones in cabins on flights
from 10 airports in countries including the UAE, Qatar and
That will hit Gulf carriers Emirates, Etihad and Qatar
Airways but not U.S. airlines, none of which fly to those
airports. The Gulf airlines have been battling a lobbying
campaign in Washington by U.S. carriers that accuse them of
receiving unfair subsidies, charges that the Gulf carriers deny.
In the UAE's first official response to the ban, Sultan bin
Saeed al-Mansouri, Minister of Economy and chairman of the
General Civil Aviation Authority, said it was surprising because
the UAE aviation sector and airports had proven themselves safe.
“The UAE is the number one ranked country worldwide by the
International Civil Aviation Organization regarding the UAE’s
compliance with international security and safety standards," he
said in a statement late on Thursday.
Mansouri also noted differences between the U.S. ban and a
similar step by Britain. The British restrictions do not include
the UAE or Qatar, but will affect other carriers including
However, the UAE's statement said its aviation authority and
airlines would continue cooperating with authorities in the
United States and around the world to ensure safety.
(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Editing by Andrew Torchia)