Qatar Airways expects Trump's travel ban to be relaxed - report

Qatar Airways expects Trump's travel ban to be relaxed - report
PHOTO: Reuters

SYDNEY - Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker on Tuesday said he expected US President Donald Trump would eventually relax a travel ban targeting seven predominantly Muslim countries, New Zealand media reported.

The travel ban, Trump's most controversial act since taking office last month, was halted temporarily on Friday following a ruling by a US judge, but it affected some of the airline's passengers.

Al Baker said he expected Trump's business talent would prevail when it came to trade between the US and Gulf countries.

"I think we still need to give him some time to see how it is to run a superpower country," Al Baker told media in New Zealand, according to a Fairfax Media report.

Read Also: Snap, Uber and Facebook file brief opposing Trump's travel ban

He was speaking after the airline launched one of the world's longest flights from Doha to Auckland.

"I'm sure he will realise in the long run that the Gulf countries are contributing hugely to the economy of the United States."

Read Also: Trump faces deadline in court battle over travel ban

Al Baker has previously appeared at events with Trump and last year described him as "a friend" to CNN.

"President Trump is trying to protect the interests of his country the same way I am trying to protect the interests of my country and my airline," Al Baker said on Tuesday.

Chaos at US airports after Trump orders halt on Muslim immigrants

On Jan. 27, Trump suspended the entry of nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and all refugees.

The ban caught the airline industry off guard, with some carriers forced to re-roster flight crew.

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