DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Latest on new security measures on U.S.-bound flights from the Middle East (all times local):
Egypt's national airline says it is tightening security on its flights to New York following a request by U.S. security authorities.
In a Wednesday statement, EgyptAir says the new measures will begin Thursday and include more detailed searches of passengers and their luggage, and include interviews. The strict procedures will extend to unauthorized agricultural or veterinary products.
The statement did not say if the change was linked to any new specific concerns or threats.
Earlier this year, Cairo was among a list of cities from which U.S. and British authorities banned electronic devices larger than smartphones in carry-on luggage, before the ban was lifted.
Airline security in Egypt has been a concern internationally since a bomb killed all aboard a Russian airliner flying back from Sharm el-Sheikh in 2015.
Four global long-haul airlines say passengers on U.S.-bound flights face new security interviews at the request of American officials.
Cathay Pacific, EgyptAir, Emirates and Lufthansa all say they will begin the interviews from Thursday.
It wasn't immediately clear if other global airlines would be affected, though the Trump administration previously rolled out a laptop ban and travel bans that have thrown global airlines into disarray.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, it comes at the end of a 120-day deadline for airlines to meet new U.S. regulations following the ban on laptops in airplane cabins of some Mideast airlines being lifted.
Long-haul carrier Emirates says it is starting new screening procedures for U.S.-bound passengers following it receiving "new security guidelines" from American authorities.
Emirates said in a statement Wednesday that it would begin doing "pre-screening interviews" at its check-in counters for passengers flying out of Dubai and at boarding gates for transit and transfer fliers.
The airline said that comes on top of other security measures it conducts.
The new procedures come after the Trump administration's previous ban on laptops in airplane cabins for some Mideast airlines. That, coupled with the travel ban, has hurt Middle Eastern airlines.
Emirates, the region's biggest, said it slashed 20 per cent of its flights to America in the wake of the restrictions.
It wasn't immediately clear if other Mideast airlines were affected.