Emirates lends tablet computers to cope with US ban

Emirates lends tablet computers to cope with US ban

DUBAI - Dubai's Emirates airline began on Wednesday loaning tablet computers to premium passengers on US-bound flights in response to an American ban on electronic devices larger than a standard smartphone.

The Middle East's largest carrier said in a statement that the measure aims to "mitigate the inconvenience of the recent ban on electronic devices" inside the cabin.

Passengers in first and business class can now borrow the tablets, plug in their USB and "continue working seamlessly", it said.

Emirates has already allowed US-bound passengers to use their laptops and tablets until boarding, with security taking away the devices and storing them in the hold just before embarking.

Washington last month banned electronic devices larger than a mobile phone as hand luggage on direct flights to the United States from 10 airports in seven Middle Eastern countries and Turkey.

A similar ban was also imposed by Britain, but exempted some of the Gulf airlines.

Other Gulf carriers hit by the US ban have introduced similar measures.

Qatar Airways last week said it would offer free laptops to business class passengers, while Abu Dhabi's Etihad announced free wi-fi and tablet computers for premium passengers.

US officials said the ban was intended to thwart possible attacks on airliners with small explosive devices hidden in consumer electronics.

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