Electronic device ban lifted on flights from Abu Dhabi to the United States
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has praised a move by the US Department of Homeland Security to lift its former advisory to ban electronic devices on all flights that are made from Abu Dhabi to different points of the United States.
The decision was made by the federal government agency after it was able to successfully validate the security measures implemented for US-bound passenger flights in the Abu Dhabi International Airport. The airport, which serves as the hub for the airline, will have the US Preclearance facility in its Terminal 3, making it the only one to have this level of security in the Middle East.
With the lifting of the ban, the passengers will now be able to carry electronic devices, like tablets, smartphones and laptops into the aircraft, after being subjected to the enhanced security measures vetted by US Department of Homeland Security. The already-strict enhancements will make it easier for the passengers once they land in their destination in the United States as they will no longer have to be subjected to immigration and other checks as if they are domestic travelers.
It is expected that the Etihad Airways will be one of the airline companies that will be able to satisfy all the short term measures that have been required by the Transportation Security Administration for the high level of security that their preclearance facility presents. Apart from Etihad, the said change will also affect 180 other airlines and 280 airports all over the world.
The policy will start taking effect immediately and will affect the hundreds of thousands of passengers that fly from Abu Dhabi to United States destinations. It can be remembered that the United States is one of the largest markets Etihad serves, with 203,515 passengers flying to the U.S. in the first four months of the year alone. Etihad has a total of 45 weekly flights to the U.S. in important gateway cities like San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and Chicago.
While Etihad Airways (official website) only started its operations in 2003, it has already become one of the largest airlines in the world. It even has minority investments in other airline companies like Jet Airways, Air Serbia, airberlin, Virgin Australia, Darwin Airline and Air Seychelles. It serves a total of 110 passenger and cargo destinations with its 120-strong fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft.