Turkey

Turkish Airlines guarantees electronic devices' safety

US, UK issued regulations forbidding passengers from carrying tablets or laptops aboard plane

24.03.2017
Turkish Airlines guarantees electronic devices' safety A man checks his tablet computer at the departures lounge as an airliner is seen parked at the apron in the background at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey on March 22, 2017. ( Berk Özkan - Anadolu Agency )

By Dilara Zengin and Fatih Erkan Dogan

ANKARA

Turkish Airlines said Friday that it would implement new measures to keep passengers' electronic devices safe during flights to the U.S. and the U.K.

The airline's move comes after both countries issued stringent regulations forbidding passengers traveling from certain airports from carrying electronic devices, such as tablets or laptops, aboard the plane.

“The electronic devices will be received by an airline officer during the last check-in before boarding the aircraft and will be placed in a special shatterproof luggage after being wrapped in foam covers," Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi told Anadolu Agency.

"We guarantee that passengers’ devices will not be damaged or lost," Eksi added.

On March 21, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the restrictions would apply to flights from 10 foreign airports in eight Muslim-majority countries, including Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport.

The U.K. later issued a similar ban on all flights from airports in Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia.

Eksi noted that he accepted with sorrow the decision even though he considered it abusive.

He stressing that passengers on flights to the U.S. were systematically inspected by a special security service that was accredited by the American Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

"So all luggage, passengers and crew boarding the plane are searched by this special security," said Eksi. "TSA already made a review a few month back [on security at the airport] and there was no problem. We were shocked after viewing Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport in this list."

"We expect authorities to reverse this decision," he added, citing efforts made by Turkey's Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to have the measure lifted.

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