Electronics ban on Egypt-U.S. flights to be lifted Wednesday

FILE PHOTO - An illustration picture shows a laptop on the screen of an X-ray security scanner, April 7, 2017. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic/Illustration/File Photo

CAIRO (Reuters) - A three-month-old ban on taking electronic devices such as laptops into aircraft cabins on flights from Egypt to the United States will be lifted on Wednesday, EgyptAir [EGY.UL] Chairman Safwat Musallam said on Tuesday.

On March 25, the United States banned electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from cabins on direct flights to the United States from 10 airports in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.

“The ban on taking laptops and other electronic devices aboard aircraft cabins on EgyptAir flights to New York will be lifted as of tomorrow and for a year or until another emergency amendment is introduced,” Musallam said in a statement.

A similar ban on flights to London was still in effect, he added.

The ban was imposed at 10 airports in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey to address fears that bombs could be concealed in electronic devices.

It was not immediately clear why the ban was lifted but other airlines in Turkey, the UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Morocco all announced in recent days that bans on their flights were lifted or in the process of being lifted.

Egyptian Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy welcomed the lifting of the ban and said it came as a result of close cooperation between Cairo International Airport and EgyptAir employees, which put U.S. authorities at ease.

Flag carrier EgyptAir is the only Egyptian airline that flies to the United States. It only operates flights between Cairo and New York.

Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Eric Knecht and Alison Williams