(Adds IATA memo)
By Alexander Cornwell
DUBAI Jan 29 Emirates airline has modified pilot and flight attendant rosters on flights to the United States following the sudden U.S. journey ban on seven Muslim-majority nations, highlighting the challenges going through airways to cope with the brand new guidelines.
The world’s largest long-haul service, which flies day by day to 11 U.S. cities, has made “the necessary adjustments to our crewing, to comply with the latest requirements,” an Emirates spokeswoman informed Reuters by electronic mail on Sunday. She added U.S. flights proceed to function to schedule.
President Donald Trump on Friday suspended the entry of individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The choice caught airways off guard, in line with the International Air Transport Association .
“I cannot think of anything comparable. This brings a mix of administrative confusion, impact and uncertainty for many travellers as well as practical operational headaches and complexities for airlines in planning their flight programmes,” impartial aviation marketing consultant John Strickland informed Reuters.
The ban applies to pilots and flight attendants from the seven nations, though all flight crew who will not be U.S. residents already want a particular visa to enter the nation.
Nicoley Baublies, from the German cabin crew union UFO, mentioned the transfer was very uncommon and meant uncertainty for airways by way of planning.
“Lufthansa has always ensured it has very diverse crews, with staff of different nationalities and that means that we are for the first time in decades having to look at where people come from,” he informed Reuters at Frankfurt airport.
A spokesman for Lufthansa mentioned on Sunday it was too early to touch upon the results of the order however that airways and passengers had been required to observe the brand new guidelines.
Another Emirates spokeswoman mentioned the affect of the ban on operations could be minimal. The airline employs over 23,000 flight attendants and about 4,000 pilots from world wide, together with the United States, Europe and the Middle East.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi mentioned the airline had “taken steps to ensure there will be no issues for flights departing over the coming weeks.”
But amid confusion over implementing the ban, it’s unclear if the ban applies to twin nationals – those that maintain one passport from a rustic on the record and one other from a non-U.S. nation that isn’t.
Etihad mentioned on its web site that twin residents might journey to the U.S. utilizing their non-banned passport. IATA have informed its members that the ban doesn’t apply to twin nationals if they’ve a passport not on the record, in line with an electronic mail seen by Reuters.
However, the Guardian reported on Saturday, quoting State Department officers, that twin nationals had been banned.
US officers mentioned on Sunday holders of inexperienced playing cards have to examine with a U.S. consulate and might be cleared on a case by case foundation.
EFFECT ON TRAVEL DEMAND?
On Sunday, IATA despatched one other electronic mail to member airways, seen by Reuters, asking for examples of Green Card holders being denied boarding. It additionally mentioned it was searching for extra data from authorities in Washington.
Baublies mentioned the uncertainty over the principles was not serving to. “Trump reacts in 140 characters, we don’t know what it means – for people with the wrong entries in their passports or with dual nationality or married to someone from one of the countries affected, are they allowed to travel?”
There are additionally issues the restrictions might dampen journey demand.
“Ultimately this could feed through to the role airlines play in the global economy in supporting business and tourism due to as yet unquantifiable impacts on demand & cost,” Strickland mentioned.
Baublies mentioned airways had been often among the many first affected by world crises. “We hope it doesn’t mean that seats are left empty because people don’t know where they can travel with which passport.”
Dubai-based Emirates and Etihad Airways are each owned by the governments of the United Arab Emirates, a U.S. ally and Muslim-majority nation.
Both carriers mentioned they’d proceed to adjust to the brand new guidelines on U.S. immigration however the place attainable would supply to refund or rebook affected passengers.
Emirates and Etihad have additionally mentioned that passengers had been affected by the ban over the weekend however their flight crews had not been impacted.
Qatar Airways declined to touch upon the affect of the ban on flight operations, though on Saturday it issued an announcement on its web site that passengers would wish a inexperienced card or diplomatic visa to enter the U.S. Emirates and Etihad issued related statements. (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell in Dubai, Reuters TV in Frankfurt and Victoria Bryan in Berlin, modifying by Ralph Boulton)