Passengers travelling to the US from some Middle Eastern countries will no longer be allowed to carry electronic devices larger than a smart phone on planes, following a new ban by the US Government.
Sources say the UK is poised to follow suit and introduce the ban on UK-bound flights.
The Department of Homeland Security in the US announced the ban after revealing extremists are looking for "innovative methods" to bring down jets.
The prohibition includes kindles, iPads, laptops and cameras larger than a cell phone - all of these items must be in checked luggage on direct flights to the US.
The ban in the US has impacted Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways.
Airports currently affected by the ban:
• Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar
• Dubai International Airport, UAE
• Abu Dhabi International Airport, UAE
• Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
• Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan
• Cairo International Airport, Egypt
• King Abdul Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
• King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
• Mohammed V Airport, Casablanca, Morocco
• Kuwait International Airport, Kuwait
The other affected countries are yet to be confirmed, but sources have told Reuters they include nearly a dozen foreign airlines and 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Royal Jordanian Airlines tweeted this statement regarding new rules regarding electronics, citing “concerned U.S. departments” as the reason behind the new restrictions.
The tweet was deleted with no explanation and replaced with this one:
The announcement, which was reportedly distributed as a “confidential” email from the U.S transportation administration, is not a public regulation but airlines will be expected to comply, according to The Guardian.
If they fail to follow the guidelines, the reportedly risk losing their rights to operate US routes.
Officials told Reuters the ban had been under consideration since the U.S government learned of an unspecified threat a few weeks ago.
An aviation official told CNN the security concern relates to the "screening in [some] countries" for nonstop flights to the U.S, adding this threat would most likely be negated if a passenger stopped over in a city with “additional and more trustworthy” screening procedures.
However, Royal Jordanian Airlines said the electronic ban would include those who transit through Canada and officials said no American carriers will be affected.