28 Jan 2017 - 19:15
Qatar Airways, which flies to around 15 American cities, is advising passengers bound for the United States from seven newly banned Muslim countries that they need to have either a US green card or diplomatic visa to travel.
29 Jan 2017 - 18:53
DUBAI: Emirates airline has changed pilot and flight attendant rosters on flights to the United States following the sudden US travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, but it said US flights continue to operate to schedule.
The world's largest long-haul carrier, who flies daily to 11 US cities, has made "the necessary adjustments to our crewing, to comply with the latest requirements," an Emirates spokeswoman told Reuters by email on Sunday.
President Donald Trump on Friday temporarily suspended the entry of people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The decision caught airlines off guard, according to the International Air Transport Association.
The ban applies to pilots and flight attendants from the seven countries, even though all flight crew who are not US
citizens already need a special visa to enter the country.
Another Emirates spokeswoman said the impact of the ban on operations would be minimal. The airline employs over 23,000 flight attendants and about four thousand pilots from around the world, including the United States, Europe and the Middle East.
Meanwhile, an Etihad Airways spokesman said the airline has "taken steps to ensure there will be no issues for flights
departing over the coming weeks."
But amid confusion over enforcing the ban, it is unclear if the ban applies to dual nationals - those who hold one passport
from a country on the list and another from a non-US country that is not.
Etihad said on its website that dual citizens could travel to the U.S. using their non-banned passport. IATA have told its
members that the ban does not apply to dual nationals if they have a passport not on the list, according to an email seen by Reuters.
However, the Guardian reported on Saturday, quoting State Department officials, that dual nationals were banned.
Both carriers said they would continue to comply with the new rules on US immigration but where possible would offer to
refund or rebook affected passengers.
Emirates and Etihad have also said that passengers were affected by the ban over the weekend but their flight crews had not been impacted.
Qatar Airways declined to comment on the impact of the ban on flight operations, although on Saturday it issued a statement on its website that passengers would need a green card or
diplomatic visa to enter the U.S. Emirates and Etihad issued