Certain flight crew barred from US entry after Trump order

Flight attendants walk past protesters at the international arrivals area of the Washington Dulles International Airport on January 28, 2017, in Sterling, Virginia.
PHOTO: AFP

A new ban on US travel for nationals of seven Middle Eastern countries caught the airline industry unprepared, with flight crew from those states also barred from entering, the International Air Transport Association said on Saturday.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has briefed the global trade group that passport-holders from states such as Iran and Iraq, including cabin crew, will be barred entry to the United States, IATA said in an email to its member airlines, seen by Reuters.

The email underscores airlines' confusion about the situation as well as the challenge some may face from crew scheduling. Airlines also stand to lose business: for instance, around 35,000 travelers from Iran visited the United States in 2015, according to the US Department of Homeland Security.

"Much of this development has come over the weekend and at a time when IATA's Facilitation team has been on duty travel. Unfortunately, our response has been slower than we would have preferred," the email said.

"A number (of questions) have yet to be resolved."

The executive order by President Donald Trump bans travelers with passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.

IATA was informed that lawful permanent residents of the United States - or green-card holders - from those countries are not included in the ban.

However, a Trump administration official told reporters that green-card holders from the countries need to check with a U.S. consulate to see whether they can return, causing some confusion for airlines, which still plan to follow CBP guidance.

Gulf airlines Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways said earlier on their websites that passengers would need a green card or diplomatic visa to enter the United States.

An Emirates spokeswoman said "a very small number" of its passengers had been affected by the ban.

Chaos at US airports after Trump orders halt on Muslim immigrants

  • President Donald Trump's order for "extreme vetting" of visitors and legal US residents from seven Muslim-majority countries sparked outrage and protests.
  • The new Republican president on Friday put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States.
  • He temporarily barred travelers from Syria and six other countries.
  • Deportees cross the tarmac after arriving on an immigration flight from the US at the Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Luis Talpa.
  • Immigration lawyers, activists and Democratic politicians reacted furiously, and many worked to help marooned travelers find a way back home.
  • Hundreds of protesters gathered at airports in Dallas, Chicago, New York and elsewhere while inside, anxious family members waited and worried for travelers.
  • The ban affects travelers with passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
  • Green card holders will not be allowed back in until they are re-screened.
  • Immigration workers process bags with belongings at an immigration facility after a flight carrying illegal immigrants from the U.S. arrived at the Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Luis Talpa, El Salvado.
  • A deportee gets a snack as she is received at an immigration facility at the Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Luis Talpa, El Salvador.
  • Protestors rally against Muslim immigration ban At San Francisco International Airport.
  • Protestors rally during a demonstration against the new immigration ban issued by President Donald Trump at John F. Kennedy International Airport on January 28, 2017 in New York City.
  • Protestors rally at a demonstration against the new ban on immigration issued by President Donald Trump at Logan International Airport on January 28, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • A demonstrator chants in celebration during a rally at San Francisco International Airport on January 28, 2017 in San Francisco, California.
 
 
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