Etihad Airways announces a lifting of the electronic device ban on flights from Abu Dhabi to the United States. Neither Emirates nor Qatar Airways have yet made similar announcements.
Abu Dhabi Airport is part of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Pre-Clearance program. It is possible that this additional security clearance has helped Etihad Airways with the lifting of electronics device restrictions. DHS Secretary John Kelly had said that the U.S. may consider adding more airports to the program as part of the enhanced security measures announced by the Department this past week affecting 180 airlines and 280 airports around the world.
“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 earlier today (2 July 2017).
“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.”
All Etihad Airways guests travelling 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.
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.