Jordanian flag carrier, Royal Jordanian announced Sunday that it had become the fifth Middle East airline to escape the U.S. Laptop Ban. The airline joins Etihad Airways, Emirates, Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways to no longer be subject to the ban that was originally introduced on March 24th.
In announcing the easing of restrictions, Royal Jordanian’s new chief executive, Stefan Pichler said: “Enhanced security measures are now implemented to meet the requirements of the US Department of Homeland Security’s new security guidelines for all US bound flights.”
Both Pichler and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security declined to comment on what “enhanced” security measures had been introduced. Last week, U.S. authorities hinted that airport’s subject to the ban would be able to have the restrictions lifted subject to new but undisclosed security measures being introduced.
With this latest change it means that only five airports in four countries are now subject to the Laptop Ban:
- Saudi Arabia – Riyadh (RUH) and Jeddah (JED)
- Kuwait – Kuwait City (KWI)
- Egypt – Cairo (CAI)
- Morocco – Casablanca (CMN)
Saudi Arabia has said it is taking action to free itself from the Laptop Ban and hopes to have measures in place soon. The U.S. restrictions mean that passengers on direct flights from affected airports to any U.S. destination cannot take any electronic devices larger than a smartphone (but excluding medical devices) into the passenger cabin.
Abu Dhabi International Airport, home of Etihad Airways became the first airport to have restrictions eased last week. Dubai-based Emirates followed soon after with Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways following by the end of the week.
Royal Jordanian currently operate 16 weekly services from its home in Amman to three destinations in the United States – New York City, Chicago and Detroit. Pichler commented: “We are glad that our guests can now fly onboard RJ and use their electronic devices. We highly appreciate our passengers’ patience and understanding during the time of the ban.”
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.