The US government is barring passengers on certain flights originating in eight countries from bringing laptops, iPads, cameras, and most other electronics in carry-on luggage – but has seemingly not informed some of the largest affected airlines.
The ban, which seeks to bolster airline security, is to go into effect Tuesday after the Transportation Security Administration informs the affected airlines.
The Middle East’s biggest airline – the Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based Emirates – said on Tuesday that it would comply with any new operational or regulatory policies but that it had “not received any notification of changes to cabin luggage restrictions on US flights.”
The UAE’s national carrier also said it has not changed its policies regarding electronics in aircraft cabins, suggesting it had not received new directives from American authorities.
Etihad Airways said in a statement on Tuesday that it would continue to work closely with American officials in the US and at its base in Abu Dhabi, the Emirati capital, but for now its “policies have not changed.”
Some airlines confirmed that flights had left for the US with unchanged electronics policies since the ban was revealed, as companies wait for American instruction.
Egyptian officials at the Cairo International Airport said they have not received any instructions on banning various electronics and confirmed that a New York-bound EgyptAir flight departed Tuesday with passengers allowed to take their laptops and other electronics on board in their carry-on luggage.
Egypt’s foreign minister, Sameh Shoukri, was among the passengers on board the New York flight.
Similarly, Basel Kilani, a spokesman for Royal Jordanian, said the airline had not yet started to enforce the new regulation and was still awaiting formal instructions from the relevant US departments, which could come later Tuesday.
Kilani said the new rules were not applied to Royal Jordanian’s direct flight that already departed Tuesday from Jordan’s capital of Amman to New York.
A Royal Jordanian statement on Twitter late Monday was among the first to reveal the ban. Kilani says the airline later deleted the tweet, preferring to wait for written instructions from the US.
— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) March 20, 2017
The ban is indefinite and will affect nine airlines in total.
In an emailed statement to Business Insider on Monday, the Department of Homeland Security wrote: “We have no comment on potential security precautions, but will provide an update when appropriate.”
CNN’s Jon Ostrower and Rene Marsh report that the directive could be in reaction to a threat related to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The US Transportation Security Administration sent a confidential email to airlines on Monday regarding the electronics ban, The Guardian’s Sam Thielman reported.
According to Thielman, the airlines will have 96 hours to comply with the ban.
A US official told The Associated Press the ban would apply to nonstop flights to the US from 10 international airports serving the cities of Cairo in Egypt; Amman in Jordan; Kuwait City in Kuwait; Casablanca in Morocco; Doha in Qatar; Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia; Istanbul in Turkey; and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Benjamin Zhang contributed reporting to this story.