NZ travellers going to US, UK via the Middle East may need to leave laptops in suitcase


the story so far

  • Britain has joined the US in banning laptops on flights from a number of countries.
  • Flights to New Zealand won’t be affected, but those travelling to the US or Britain need to check their airline's guidelines.
  • New Zealand authorities are keeping an eye on overseas security arrangements.

New Zealanders travelling to the US or Britain may have to ditch the iPads and laptops, if they're planning on flying via the Middle East.

The Civil Aviation Authority confirmed New Zealand won't be following the lead of the US and Britain in banning electronic devices on flights, but authorities are mindful that many Kiwis now use long-haul routes through Dubai and Doha.

The British government today announced a cabin baggage ban on devices on direct passenger flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

The ban - which applies to laptops, tablets, DVD players and electronic games - follows a similar move by the United States affecting eight countries.

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Last year a laptop bomb on a flight out of Somalia blew a hole in the side of the aeroplane, killing the bomber.

A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman told 1 NEWS they "are not aware of any threat from any destination coming to New Zealand."

"We will continue to monitor this situation closely, and the international aviation security environment in general, in ongoing close liaison with relevant New Zealand agencies and our international partners to ensure that security screening measures applied to flights from New Zealand remain appropriate."

John Beckett, BARNZ (Board of Airline Representatives NZ) executive director, said if New Zealanders are travelling to the US or UK, they should check the situation with their airline.

"The airlines and airports likely to be affected for travellers from New Zealand are Emirates (out of Dubai) and Qatar (out of Doha)," he said.

Last month, Qatar Airways debuted the world's longest route, with a 17-hour, 30-minute flight between Auckland and Doha.

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