UK eases laptop ban on flights from Turkey

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The UK has eased a ban on carrying large electronic devices in aircraft cabins on flights from one of six countries subject to the restrictions.

Since March passengers have been stopped from taking laptops and tablets in their hand baggage on inbound flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

But the Department for Transport (DfT) has lifted the ban for all flights from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen and some flights from Istanbul Ataturk and Izmir.

The original restrictions remain in place elsewhere but these will be lifted once the Government has verified that additional security checks are in place, according to the DfT.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "The safety and security of the travelling public is always my top priority.

"Having looked carefully at the changes introduced in March, and working with our international partners and the industry on tough additional security measures, we can now lift the ban on electronic devices in the cabin on a small number of UK-bound flights from Istanbul and Izmir.

"The remaining restrictions will be lifted only when we are satisfied it is safe and proportionate to do so.

"The UK will not hesitate to put in place effective and robust security measures wherever we believe these are needed to protect passengers, and we keep them under constant review."

The ban covers devices larger than a typical smartphone and means gadgets such as iPads and Kindles must go in the luggage holds of aircraft.

This theoretically stops terrorists on affected flights physically triggering a bomb concealed in these devices.

The restrictions were originally announced a day after the US unveiled similar measures for flights originating from a longer list of eight mainly Muslim countries.

EasyJet announced that it plans to lift restrictions and implement new security measures on its flights from the Turkish airports of Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman and Izmir next week.

A spokeswoman for the Luton-based carrier said: "Once we have a date we will contact customers travelling on these routes to inform them."

She added: "We continue to work with the UK Government with regards to our flights from Hurghada (Egypt) to the UK."