Donald Trump’s inflight electronics ban: Emirates says neither Homeland Security nor TSA has been in touch

The biggest airline thought to be affected by a ban on electronic devices by the US authorities says it has not heard from the Department for Homeland Security (DHS) or its subsidiary, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Emirates Airline’s base at Dubai is included on a list of 10 airports that a DHS official is said to have supplied to the Associated Press. The others are Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Casablanca, Doha, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kuwait and Riyadh.

But an Emirates spokesperson told The Independent: “At this time we have not received any notification of changes to cabin luggage restrictions on US flights.

“Emirates will comply with any new operational or regulatory requirements issued by the relevant authorities.”


Other large carriers thought to be affected are Etihad, Qatar Airways, Saudia and Turkish Airlines, but Emirates carries far more passengers to the US than its rivals.

The US authorities are believed to be concerned about a possible attempt to down a plane by smuggling explosives on board in the battery compartment of an electronic device.

The ban first emerged in a now-deleted tweet from Royal Jordanian, which flies between its hub in Amman and New York, Detroit and Chicago: “Following instructions from the concerned US departments, we kindly inform our dearest passengers departing to and arriving from the United States that carrying any electronic or electrical device on board the flight cabins is strictly prohibited.”

The airline now says only: “Further updates will be announced soon regarding #electronicsban.”

Prohibited devices can be carried in checked baggage, though concerns have been raised about the fire risk posed by increased numbers of lithium batteries in aircraft holds.

Three years ago, the US stipulated that all electronic devices carried into the cabin must be capable of being powered up at the security check. If they could not be, they must be left behind.

Intelligence sources in 2014 suggested that the material for a bomb could be implanted in the battery compartment of a mobile phone or computer.

The UK Department for Transport announced identical rules shortly afterwards, though they have never been seriously enforced.

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