European Union alarmed by United States laptop plans

"The Commission is keen to work closely with all worldwide partners - including the US authorities - on identifying developing threats in aviation and the best ways to address them together", Itkonen said. John F. Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, is to brief senators on security topics on Thursday, according to a Senate aide.

Last month, the U.S. banned laptops on flights from countries including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey following fears that laptop batteries could be used to house bombs.

Some European terminals may soon be added to the list of 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa from which the USA has prohibited passengers to board with laptops and tablets, according to "three sources briefed on the meeting", Reuters reported.

"While security is and must always be paramount when it comes to air travel, our members have raised a number of questions about the existing ban and its potential for disruption to business and leisure travelers, issues related to checking expensive electronics while traveling overseas and the possibility that it may spread to additional airports/carriers (indeed, the United Kingdom imposed a similar ban shortly after DHS)", Peck said. American officials were invited to Brussels next week to discuss the proposed ban, the European Union said.

Reuters says that the expansion will affect flights on United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines Group.

Europe has warned the US that imposing a laptop ban on transatlantic flights could pose a risk to safety.




Some U.S. and European airlines have been planning for a wider ban, industry officials have told Reuters. Kelly is also scheduled to meet President Donald Trump on Friday but a DHS official said the meeting is about a different topic.

US Department of Homeland Security spokesperson David Lapan said the agency was considering the implications of extending the ban to flights arriving from Europe, according to the New York Times. It said the ban had a direct impact on demand for air travel into the US and it faced rising costs from introducing complimentary laptop loans to some passengers.

The Trump administration has said the original ban was necessary because intelligence suggests terrorists are now able to hide explosives in laptops and other devices.

Homeland Security said in a statement Wednesday that the restriction was under consideration.

The group's CEO, Joe Leader, noted that airlines have reduced service by more than 1 million long-haul seats in the 10 Middle Eastern and North African cities affected by the March policy.

Emirates, one of the several airlines whose U.S. flights are affected, have cited the electronics ban as a factor behind its decision to cut underperforming flights to the country.

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