SEVERAL flights from Manchester Airport will be affected by a ban imposed by the UK government preventing large electronic devices in cabin baggage on direct flights from Africa and the Middle East.
The ban, which follows a similar move in the US where officials say bombs could be hidden in a series of devices, covers flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
Mobile phones are allowed to be taken on board by passengers, but larger devices such as e-readers, tablets and laptops will have to be put in hold luggage.
Restrictions, which are believed to have been put in place due to the growing threat from Islamic State groups, mean that 22 routes from Manchester operated by eight airlines will be impacted by the move.
A spokesman for Manchester Airport said: “In line with the directive issues by Government, passengers flying into Manchester Airport from Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia much check large electronic items into the hold.
“The ban will only affect inbound passengers and not those departing. It will, however, affect passengers on their return to Manchester.
“Passengers with specific flight queries and the procedure for checking electronic items into the hold should contact their airline directly.”
This is a move likely to have the most effect on passengers who have booked cheaper, hand luggage-only tickets and will now need to fork out for an additional checked bag.
It will also impact thousands of Turkish Airlines customers every week who are flying from other long-haul destinations routed through their base at Istanbul Atatürk Airport.
But the ban will not affect indirect flights where passengers are flying to Manchester from one of the affected countries with a layover at a different airport before their final destination.
Thomas Cook, who use Manchester as one of their operating bases commented, saying: “The new measures mean that laptops, tablets and e-readers will not be allowed in hand luggage and must be placed in the hold. This includes duty-free purchases of these devices in the airport.
“There will be no restrictions on regular-sized mobile phones, including the iPhone 7 Plus or the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
“Please make the necessary arrangements to pack laptops, tablets and e-readers securely into hold luggage to be checked in before going through security.
“Further information from the government will be available shortly. The Foreign Office has not changed its overall level of advice for travel to Turkey or Egypt.”
Thomas Cook indefinitely suspended holidays and flights to Tunisia, one of the countries covered by the ban, following the 2015 terrorist attack in Sousse, which claimed the lives of 30 British holidaymakers.
Manchester Airport is the third-biggest airport in the country and earlier this month announced that it surpassed 26 million passengers in 12 months for the first time.