Thomas Cook Airlines has become the first UK carrier to lift the ban on larger electronic devices from passengers’ hand baggage on flights from Turkey.
In March, the Government banned laptops, tablets and e-readers from the cabins of aircraft flying from Turkey and five other countries to the UK. It followed hours after a similar prohibition imposed by the US. The American authorities were concerned about bombs being smuggled aboard aircraft hidden in consumer electronics.
Devices had to be placed in the hold, which raised concerns about the risk of an uncontained fire started by a lithium battery in the cargo compartment.
While Washington DC has now lifted its ban, the Department for Transport continues to impose restrictions on most flights from the affected countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, as well as Turkey.
Last month Turkish Airlines and Pegasus, based in Istanbul, were given the go-ahead to end the ban on their flights from Istanbul and Izmir to the UK. But it has continued to apply to British carriers.
Now Thomas Cook has met the additional security measures — including intensive screening at the departure gate — required by the Government. In a statement, the holiday firm said: “Following a review by the UK Government and the introduction of new security measures, customers flying from Turkey on Thomas Cook Airlines will now be able to carry laptops, tablets and e-readers in hand luggage.
“The new security measures include additional screening at the gate, so please arrive promptly when your flight is called to allow sufficient time to board.”
The restrictions remain in place for flights with Thomas Cook — and all other airlines — from Egypt and the other countries on the list.