July 9, 2017 / 2:41 PM / 11 days ago

Middle East carrier Royal Jordanian says U.S. laptop ban lifted

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DUBAI, July 9 (Reuters) - Royal Jordanian said on Sunday passengers could now take laptops and other large electronic devices onboard direct flights to the United States, making it the latest Middle East airline to be exempted from the U.S. electronics ban.

Jordan's flag carrier joins Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airline who each announced last week a lifting of the ban.

In March, the United States banned laptops and other large electronic devices on direct flights originating at 10 airports in eight countries -- Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey -- to address fears that bombs could be concealed in electronic devices taken aboard aircraft.

Royal Jordanian, which flies to New York, Chicago and Detroit from Amman, Jordan, lifted the ban after new security measures were implemented for U.S.-bound flights, airline President Stefan Pichler said in a statement.

U.S. officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lifting of the ban affecting Royal Jordanian. The airline is the only carrier to fly direct to the United States from Amman.

The United States announced on June 29 enhanced security measures for flights to the country which require additional time to screen passengers and personal electronic devices for possible explosives.

The new U.S. security measures, which take effect within three weeks of the announcement, will affect around 325,000 passengers a day travelling on 180 airlines from 280 airports around the world, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Airlines that fail to meet the new security requirements could still face in-cabin restrictions on electronic devices.

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has said it expects the ban to be lifted on flights from Jeddah and Riyadh by July 19.

Royal Air Maroc also believes it can have the ban lifted for flights out of Casablanca's Mohammed V International Airport by July 19, a senior official from the state-owned airline told Reuters on July 6.

Other airlines affected by the ban include Kuwait Airways and EgyptAir. (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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