The US government has finally lifted its laptop ban from Etihad Airways after the airline started conducting rigorous screening at Abu Dhabi International Airport. In a statement issued yesterday, the airline said:
“We welcome the decision by the US Department of Homeland Security to lift the electronic devices ban on flights between Abu Dhabi and the United States, following the successful validation of security measures at the US Preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi airport.
“Effective immediately, the removal of the restrictions allows passengers flying to the US to carry all laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices onto the aircraft, subject to enhanced security measures.
“We would like to thank our guests for their understanding and loyalty while the ban was in place.”
Share your pictures from onboard using your own device and our inflight Wi-Fi.? pic.twitter.com/qgI7M0rnhx
— Etihad Airways (@EtihadAirways) July 3, 2017
All Etihad Airways guests traveling to the United States clear US Immigration and Customs at the US Preclearance facility in Terminal 3 at Abu Dhabi International Airport, the only one of its kind in the Middle East. When guests land in the US, they arrive as domestic passengers with no requirement to queue for immigration and customs checks again.
Affecting 180 airlines and 280 airports, it is anticipated that Etihad Airways is one of the first airlines to be able to satisfy the short-term measures required by the Transportation Security Administration due to the superior security advantages provided by the preclearance facility.
Etihad Airways currently operates 45 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and six cities across the United States – including double daily to New York, daily to Washington, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles, and three-times-per-week to San Francisco.
The US is one of Etihad Airways’ largest markets, with 203,515 passengers flying to the US from Abu Dhabi between 1 January and 30 April 2017. This was up by 13,157 passengers for the same period in 2016.