US Lifts Laptop Ban for Royal Air Maroc
US bound passengers flying from Morocco will be exempted from the US restrictions on carrying laptops and other large electronic devices in aircraft cabins as of July 13, Morocco’s flag carrier, Royal Air Maroc said.
The lift of the laptop ban on the Moroccan airline, which is the only carrier to operate direct flights from Morocco to the US, comes after several Middle East airlines benefited from the same exemption by the US Department of Homeland Security.
The US maintained the electronics ban for Saudi Arabia’s two main international airports, Riyadh and Jeddah as well as Egypt’s Cairo.
The ban was imposed last March amid fears that Islamic State is developing a bomb concealed in personal electronics. The electronics restrictions were imposed on nine airlines at 10 overseas airports. The devices had to be placed in checked luggage.
Since then, DHS Secretary John Kelly said airlines could be released from the ban if they comply with newly imposed security directives calling for more extensive passenger screening, increased use of bomb-sniffing dogs, and improved security measures.
Teams of inspectors from the US Transportation Security Administration are to verify that the airlines are complying with the new American security directives before the electronics restrictions are lifted.
In addition to RAM, six airlines were deemed to be following the new directives, and therefore no longer subject to the electronics ban. These are: Qatar airlines operating from Doha, Emirates Air from Dubai, Turkish Airlines from Istanbul, Kuwait Airways from Kuwait City, Royal Jordanian from Amman, and Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi
Teams of inspectors from the US Transportation Security Administration had traveled to the exempted airports to verify that the airlines are complying with the new American security directives before the electronics restrictions were lifted.