Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has banned some models of Apple MacBook Pros from being taken onboard flights as checked luggage, local media reported.
At the same time, the UAE’s largest carrier, Emirates, declined to comment if it was considering similar restrictions when contacted by Gulf Business.
The move by the Abu Dhabi-based Etihad comes after certain models of MacBook Pro laptops were banned on flights by US airline safety regulators amid fears the laptops could overheat and pose a fire risk.
The specific models affected are 15-inch MacBook Pros sold between September 2015 and February 2017.
Apple previously issued a recall of the laptops in June this year. According to the company, the laptops are perfectly safe once the batteries are replaced with new ones.
Etihad said the recalled laptops could not fly in checked baggage, and could only be taken onboard as cabin baggage if they remained off for the duration of the flight.
Further, Etihad Cargo has banned the bulk shipment of the recalled MacBooks on its flights, according to reports.
A number of airlines around the world have announced moves to restrict or ban the carriage or the recalled MacBooks onboard. In Australia, national carrier Qantas has stated the recalled MacBooks must be carried in the cabin and remain off, while Virgin Australia has banned Apple laptops from checked-in luggage entirely. Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways have also banned the recalled laptops from being taken aboard. Other airlines, such as Air New Zealand, have not banned the laptops, but have asked passengers not to bring them onboard.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) previously said in a statement that it was “aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops,” adding that major US airlines had been alerted.
Apple previously issued a recall of the laptops in June this year. According to the company, the laptops are perfectly safe once the batteries are replaced with new ones. The company has also said it will replace the batteries for free.
In Europe, the EU Aviation Safety Agency has also warned airlines about flying with the same MacBook Pro models on board.