18:39 GMT20 September 2020
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    According to media reports, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will announce a ban of all laptop computers in cabins on incoming flights from Europe to the United States.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Representatives of the five main European airlines — Brussels Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines — told Sputnik they had not yet received any notice from US authorities on the reported introduction of a ban on carrying large electronic devices in aircraft cabins on US-bound flights from Europe but were ready to comply with the requirement should the ban enter into force.

    According to media reports, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will announce a ban of all laptop computers in cabins on incoming flights from Europe to the United States later on Thursday.

    Brussels Airlines, Belgium's largest airline said that even though it did not receive any notice from US authorities yet, it has already began to prepare itself for the ban's possible enforcement in order to minimize passengers' discomfort.

    “Brussels Airlines has so far not received a notification from the US Transport Security Administration (TSA) … We are preparing ourselves and working on scenarios about what to do in case a ban becomes effective. The travel comfort of our passengers is very important in these scenarios,” Geert Sciot, the company's vice president for media relations said.

    Norwegian Air Shuttle, the third largest low-cost carrier in Europe, said it was closely following the matter and was ready to fulfill the demands of US authorities.

    “We are aware of this and are monitoring this closely. Naturally, we will follow any new regulations made by the authorities regarding this,” Charlotte Holmbergh Jacobsson, the company's head of communications for Sweden and Finland said.

    Lufthansa Group’s spokesperson informed that it did not have any information on the introduction of the laptop ban, and as such, Lufthansa flights to the United States were operating as usual.

    “Lufthansa is not aware of any additional security measures for Lufthansa Group-US bound flights. Therefore, existing security procedures for Lufthansa Group-US flights remain unchanged for the time being,” Boris Ogursky said.

    The flag carrier of Austria, Austrian Airlines, also made no changes to its operation of US-bound flights, as it is "not aware of any additional security measures for US bound flights", spokesperson Patricia Strampfer said.

    As for the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands, the company is "closely monitoring" the situation and would implement all required changes in the event the ban is formally enforced, Heleen Makkinga, a spokesperson for the company said.

    In March, the United States has already introduced a similar ban on electronic devices larger than a cellphone in the cabins on direct flights to the United States from Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

    Flights to the United States by major regional airlines, including Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airway were affected by the ban.

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