Etihad Airways, the international carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said on Sunday the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has lifted a ban on carrying electronic devices, including laptops, onboard flights between the UAE capital Abu Dhabi and the U.S.
The lifting of the ban followed “an in-depth review of security procedures implemented at the Abu Dhabi International Airport Pre-clearance Center,” said the government-controlled carrier in a statement.
Under the new rule, which takes effect immediately on Sunday, passengers traveling to the U.S. by Etihad Airways flights are allowed to carry all laptops, tablets and other electronic devices onboard, though they will “be subject to enhanced inspection and inspection procedures.”
“In this context, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to our distinguished guests for their understanding and loyalty during the period when the devices embargo was in force,” said the statement.
Etihad guests traveling to the U.S. will be able to complete U.S. immigration and customs clearance at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Pre-clearance Center located at Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi International Airport, the only facility of its kind in the Middle East.
Like U.S. travelers, Etihad passengers who have passed the pre-clearance at the center do not have to wait in the immigration and customs lines to complete the procedures again when they arrive at a U.S. airport.
To further increase aviation safety, the U.S. government imposed a ban in March on electronic devices in the carry-on luggage onboard direct flights from 10 international airports in eight countries of the Middle East and North Africa.
Currently, no U. S. carriers operate direct flights to the UAE. The ban has caused confusion and public outrage in the UAE, a close U.S. ally in the Gulf.