Aviation

Qatar Airways joins fellow laptop carriers

Qatar Airways has joined its Gulf carrier friends (although after the recent travel ban they probably wouldn’t be calling each other friends) in having free reign to carry laptops onboard.

The airlinw joins Etihad, Emirates and Turkish Airlines in getting approval from the US Department of Homeland Security to permit passengers to carry personal electronic items on board US-bound flights, departing from its hub Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar.

The airline gained the exemption today after US officials inspected the security measures in full operation at Qatar’s Hamad International Airport (HIA).

With the lifting of the electronics restrictions, passengers departing from HIA to all Qatar Airways’ US destinations will be able to carry their personal electronic devices on board, and have uninterrupted use of them for business and leisure purposes throughout their flight.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said, “We are pleased to announce that the electronics ban has been lifted from Qatar Airways flights departing to all destinations in the US.

“Safety and security are always our highest priority. They are expressed throughout all of our corporate values, and must never be compromised.

“The security measures in place in Doha allow us to continue to provide our renowned world-class service for all our passengers travelling to the US.

“We look forward to providing our passengers an even greater choice of U.S. destinations soon, with the addition of San Francisco to our expanding network, on board the most modern of aircraft including the Airbus A350 and our Qsuite retro-fitted Boeing 777 aircraft.”

Qatar Airways recently offered an unexpected deal to American Airlines, one of the US’ big three airlines that have been in a competitive war with the Gulf carriers for years.

Qatar offered to make an initial investment of up to 4.75 per cent in American Airlines, and according to a statement this morning “looks forward to continuing this relationship”.

The US airlines, AA included, claim Gulf carriers receive financial support from their governments, making them as successful as they are, and even pushed for the US to restrict their services into the US.

Unsurprisingly, American Airlines CEO claimed to be unimpressed and confused by the offer, which he said he wasn’t considering.

Qatar Airways, which celebrates 10 years of service to the US this year, will launch flights to San Francisco in 2018, as part of its continuing expansion within the country.

The US expansion is just part of the airline’s global growth plans, which include new routes to Canberra (Australia), Chiang Mai (Thailand), Douala (Cameroon), Libreville (Gabon), Rio de Janeiro, (Brazil), Santiago (Chile), as well as many other destinations.

 

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