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Passenger demand in Mideast posts eight-year low rise in May thanks to U.S.

Staff Writer |
The airlines in the Middle East recorded only a 3.7 percent year-on-year rise in passenger demand in May, hitting almost an eight-year low, after the laptop ban on U.S.-bound flights from 10 airports in the region, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

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"The slow-down reflects the ban on the carriage of large portable electronics devices (PEDs) in the cabin from 10 airports in the region to the U.S.," the IATA said in a report.

The Trump administration's travel bans have also imposed a wider impact on such decline, the report added.

On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it has decided to allow President Donald Trump's controversial revised travel ban to go into effect in most instances and will review it in fall.

The decision, immediately seen as Trump's partial victory, handicaps the lower federal courts that had put the president's executive order denying citizens from six Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa access to the U.S. completely on hold.

In the past week, the ban for carrying PEDs in the passenger cabin was lifted for the United Arab Emirates carriers Emirates Airline (Dubai) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), as well as the airports in Doha, Qatar and Istanbul, Turkey, after additional passenger screening procedures had been implemented in line with the U.S. requirements.

Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are still on the ban list.

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