Qatar Airlines Gets Out from Under U.S. Laptop Ban

July 7, 2017 Updated: July 7, 2017

Qatar Airways will again be able to allow passengers flying to the United States to carry electronics like laptops into the cabin, the company announced on July 6.

In March, the United States banned all personal electronic devices bigger than a cell phone from being brought into cabins on flights traveling to the country from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa.

Qatar Airways said the ban was lifted after new security measures were taken at the airline’s hub, Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar.

The airline gained the exemption earlier today after U.S. officials inspected the security measures in full operation at Qatar’s state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport,” the airline said in a press release. 

The ban was meant to thwart terrorists seeking to hide explosives inside electronics because “evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation,” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in press release in March.

It also said that the new security measures, which were not spelled out so as to keep them a secret from terrorists, could be lifted depending on the security threat from each region.

Qatar Airways joins three other carriers that have had their electronics ban lifted after security upgrades at the airports out of which they fly to the United States. The other three are Etihad in Abu Dhabi, Turkish Airlines in Istanbul, and Emirates in Dubai.

The ban is still in effect for six airports.

A terminal in Hamad International Airport (HIA) on April 30, 2014 in Doha, Qatar. (KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images)
A terminal in Hamad International Airport (HIA) on April 30, 2014 in Doha, Qatar. (Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)

Qatar Airlines is looking to expand in the United States, the company added in the announcement of its electronics ban being lifted.

Not only by adding San Francisco to its list of destinations in 2018, but it hopes to buy a 4.75 percent stake in American Airlines as an initial investment.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, has said he is not excited about the state-run airline’s planned investment, and that he would advise the American Airlines board not to approve it, according to Reuters.

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