Turkish Airlines Chief Executive Bilal Eksi also tweeted that the airline expected similar restrictions on flights to Britain would soon be lifted. “A technical team will come from Britain for an assessment within one week,” Turkey’s Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan told reporters in the capital Ankara. “I’m sure they will lift that ban. There is no reason for the ban to continue.”
U.S. and British officials carried out inspections of security measures at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport on Tuesday, the Dogan news agency reported earlier. There was no immediate comment available from U.S. officials on the lifting of the ban in Dubai and Istanbul.
The U.K. ban does not apply to flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Security officials were seen examining passengers’ laptops at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport on Wednesday following the lifting of restrictions.
“When I was buying the ticket I thought ‘shall I buy one for the day after just in case’, but I bought one for today when they said it was being lifted,” Emre Tokmak, a passenger on a Turkish Airlines morning flight to New York traveling with his laptop, told reporters at the airport.
In March the United States imposed the ban on direct flights originating at 10 airports in eight countries — Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey — to address fears that bombs could be concealed in electronic devices taken aboard aircraft.
Turkish Airlines expects electronics ban on flights to Britain to be lifted soon: CEO
Some airlines affected by the ban tried to soften the impact of the restrictions by allowing passengers to check in banned devices shortly before boarding and offering to loan tablets for use during the flight to those traveling in first or business class.
“Whilst it is difficult to quantify the actual financial impact of the ban it’s positive for those carriers for whom it’s been lifted,” aviation industry consultant John Strickland told Reuters. “Perception is important for lucrative business travelers and this restores a sense of ease and convenience in using these carriers.”