The UK on Tuesday imposed a ban on carrying laptops as part of cabin baggage on Britain-bound passenger flights from six Muslim-majority countries, hours after the US introduced a similar move citing terrorism concerns.
The ban will cover around 14 airlines that operate direct flights from largely Muslim countries – Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia.
The UK restrictions also apply to tablets, DVD players and phones over certain size.
"Direct flights to the UK from these destinations can continue to operate to the UK subject to new measures being in place. Travellers are advised to keep up-to-date with the latest FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] travel advice and to check online with their chosen airline for further information," a UK government spokesperson said.
Under the new arrangements, passengers boarding flights to the UK from the countries affected will not be allowed to take any phones, laptops or tablets larger than a normal sized mobile or smartphone (Length: 16.0 cm, Width: 9.3 cm, Depth: 1.5 cm) into the cabin of the plane.
Any such devices will need to be placed into hold luggage and checked-in before going through central security.
The British airlines affected include British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson.
The foreign airlines hit by the new ban include Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egyptair, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air and Saudia.
The attempted downing of an airliner in Somalia last year was linked to a laptop device, and some media reports have claimed that the new security precautions are an attempt to stop similar incidents.
Indian Authorities Await Official Word
Indian aviation authorities will wait for official communication from the US before deciding on whether to issue any travel advisory following the American government's ban on big electronic devices in cabin baggage on flights from select Middle East and African nations.
The latest decision of the US administration is “more of a security issue rather than a safety issue”, a senior DGCA official told PTI.
There is no official communication so far from the US authorities in this regard, he added.
Since the matter pertains more to security aspects, a decision on whether to issue any kind of travel advisory is likely to be taken by the BCAS after discussions, the DGCA official said.
Only after getting an official communication from the US, any decision would be taken, he added.