On the afternoon of March 20, Royal Jordanian Airlines announced on Twitter that effective March 21, it would ban all electronic items from passenger cabins of its aircraft traveling directly to and from the United States with the exception of cellphones and medical devices. The announcement, which was later deleted from the airline's Twitter account, noted that the security measures were being instituted at the request of "concerned U.S. Departments." The U.S. government soon confirmed the ban and added that, in addition to Royal Jordanian, it applied to flights from eight other airlines originating from 10 airports in eight Middle Eastern countries.
The airports covered by the ban are located in Cairo, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Doha, Amman, Kuwait City, Casablanca, Jeddah and Riyadh. The airlines affected include Etihad Airways, EgyptAir, Qatar Airways, Emirates Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines. A U.S. Transportation Security Administration notice reportedly gave the affected airlines 96 hours to implement the new security measures. Noncompliance would result in their losing authorization to land in the United States. U.S. airlines were not affected by the measure because none of them fly from the affected airports to the United States.