Turkish Airlines implements electronic device measure

The rules, which came into force yesterday, affects electronics more than 16cm long, 9.3cm wide and 1.5cm deep, and followed a similar move in the US.

While Middle Eastern airlines grapple with carry-on bans for laptops on flights to the USA and Britain, one carrier is encouraging passengers to do the unthinkable: actually talk to each other.

A Turkish Airlines official said it was working on rolling out a system to allow passengers to use 3G data roaming on mobile phones to connect to the Internet in-flight, and planned to make WiFi freely available on some aircraft from next month.

Emirates said it is introducing a laptop as well as tablet handling service for flights bound for the United States, letting flyers use their devices until it is time to board the plane.

By APEX load-factor calculations, this translates into more than three million affected airline passengers per year.

Clark was critical of the selective targeting of the ban, saying if there's a risk that laptops can be used during flights for terrorist activity, then the restriction "should be applied to the airline industry universally", he said.

The focus of the ban are large electronic devices such as laptops and tablets, e-readers and game players. Since the existing security scope includes individuals with travel privileges to the USA and United Kingdom, these same individuals could connect via other airports where on-board personal electronics are not banned.

Emirates will pack the devices in boxes and return them to passengers upon arrival.

It was announced on Tuesday that passengers will no longer be able to carry large electronic devices on inbound flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

A Royal Jordanian statement on Twitter late Monday was among the first to reveal the ban.

Still, no changes are planned yet, and Emirates expects "robust demand" on its new Athens-Newark route this year, which will be exempt from the USA order. It referred questions to the UAE's civil aviation authority, which did not immediately respond to questions. The ban deals an additional blow to Persian Gulf carriers including Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways after President Donald Trump earlier this year restricted citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

Still, as you might expect, rival airlines are already trying to attract customers from the airlines affected by the ban. In the United States, the ban, released March 21, covers nine airlines (Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabia Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates Air and Etihad Airways) and direct flights to the USA from 10 specific airports listed here.

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