Brussels airport
File photo: A plane sits on the runway at Brussels airport iStock

Electronic devices larger than a mobile phone have been banned from US-bound flights from several countries in a surprising move that has still not been properly announced by American authorities.

In a deleted tweet, Royal Jordanian airlines said that they had received "instructions from concerned US departments".

"We kindly inform our dearest passengers departing to and from the United States that carrying any electronic or electrical device on board the flight cabins in strictly prohibited", the now-deleted statement read.

Aside from mobile and medical devices, electrical devices must be kept in checked luggage from 21 March. The ban applies to eight countries and 10 airports, all in the Middle East and North Africa.

Several officials spoke to the Associated Press about the sudden ban but all on the condition of anonymity. None could disclose much detail about the ban before it is publicly announced.

One said that it had been considered for some weeks, the reason behind it is still not immediately clear.

The ban was only revealed through the statement from Royal Jordanian Airlines and a statement from Saudi Arabia's official news service. Laptops, tablets and cameras would all be items that could no longer be brought on planes in hand luggage from Tuesday (21 March).