UK lifts laptop ban on flights from Istanbul on two airlines

Airline passengers flying on two Turkish carriers to the UK can now carry their electronic devices on board, subject to what the government called ''tough additional security measures''.

Passengers flying from either of the two Istanbul airports, Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen, or from Izmir, can now take their laptops, tablets and accessories into the cabin to the UK - but only if they were flying on Turkish Airlines or Pegasus.

Rules that barred travelers from taking anything larger than a mobile phone in the cabin of direct flights to the UK were introduced in March. The rules applied to flights from six countries, of which Turkey was by far the most important in terms of aviation links. Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia were the other five.

The prohibition on personal electronic devices (PEDs) was imposed shortly after the US announced similar bans, but the Americans progressively scrapped the restrictions earlier this month.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling, said: ''Having looked carefully at the changes introduced in March, and working with our international partners and the industry on tough additional security measures, we can now lift the ban on electronic devices in the cabin on a small number of UK-bound flights from Istanbul and Izmir.

Turkish Airlines chief Bilal Eksi announced that the laptop ban on Turkish Airlines' flights from Istanbul Atatürk Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport to the UK had been lifted, on his official Twitter account.

Turkish authorities had last week been notified by their UK counterparts, that the electronics ban in cabins imposed in March will be lifted in flights from Turkey.

Turkey's Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communication minister Ahmet Arslan earlier noted that Turkey's efforts to ensure maximised security measures such as installing tomography-based devices at the Atatürk Airport after the ban was imposed had borne fruit and were effective in the reversal of the ban.