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Royal Jordanian reports new electronics ban on US flights

US regulators will soon prohibit passengers on some airlines from carrying a range of electronic devices on flights bound for the USA, say Royal Jordanian Airlines and Saudi Arabian authorities.

Royal Jordanian says in a tweet that following "instructions from the concerned US departments", passengers on Royal Jordanian's flights to and from the USA are prohibited from "carrying any electronic device on board the flight cabins" effective 21 March.

The tweet, which was subsequently deleted by the carrier, adds that cell phones and necessary medical devices are exempt from the ban, but that laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players and electronic devices can only be carried in checked baggage.

Saudi Arabia's state-owned press agency says that the country's civil aviation authority is instructing airlines to ban such devices in the cabin, and to implement the rule in Riyadh and Jeddah. Saudia operates US flights from the two cities.

The US Federal Aviation Administration declines to comment on Royal Jordanian's statement, referring queries to the US Department of Homeland Security.

That agency also declines to address questions directly.

"We have no comment on potential security precautions, but will provide any update as appropriate," DHS tells FlightGlobal.

If Royal Jordanian's tweet proves accurate, details of the ban have not even reached the airline's New York sales offices.

An agent in the New York office had no knowledge of new carry-on restrictions affecting electronics, when reached by FlightGlobal.

Royal Jordanian's tweet says the restrictions will apply to its flights to New York John F Kennedy, Chicago O'Hare, Detroit and Montreal. The airline operates to Montreal via Detroit, FlightGlobal schedules data show.

The new rule on electronics follows a revised order by the US government to ban travel to the US by citizens of several Muslim-majority countries. That ban has since been challenged by US courts.

It is not immediately clear if the restriction on electronic devices applies to other airlines. Delta Air Lines, one of only two US carriers which operate to the Middle East, declines to comment. The other airline, United Airlines, did not immediately comment.

Gulf carriers Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways did not immediately respond to comment. IATA did not immediately comment.

Additional reporting by David Kaminski-Morrow, Edward Russell and Ghim-Lay Yeo

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