President Donald Trump on Friday 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 was put together in such haste that it was bound to disrupt airport operations around the world.
Here are a few reactions from the airlines.
A Message from Doug Parker to Employees on U.S. Executive Order
Dear Team Members,
Over the weekend, American was notified that per a Presidential Executive Order, nationals of seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Libya — will be prohibited from entering the United States for at least 90 days.
As a global airline, we recognize that these orders place difficult operating conditions on some of our team members. Colleagues across the country have been working closely with government officials to interpret and apply the order. Crews, Reservations agents and airport teams have witnessed turmoil in our airports that shows how divisive this order can be. However, it is the current law of the U.S., and so long as that is the case, we must comply. We are doing everything we can to care for any affected customers and team members and treat them with the utmost respect.
As a global employer, however, this Executive Order does not affect the values that this company is built upon — those of diversity, inclusiveness and tolerance. At a time when the world is watching, our industry affords us a unique opportunity to show firsthand what true compassion and kindness look like. Treating each other with respect and dignity does not belong to a political party and transcends any law.
Be it with your colleagues or customers, please continue to work with the same open-mindedness, mutual respect and appreciation of diversity that defines — and always will define — American Airlines.
Oscar Munoz, United’s CEO, wrote to his employees Monday, “Whatever may divide us as individuals is far, far outweighed by all that unites us as a people.”
Emirates airline has changed pilot and flight attendant rosters on flights to the United States following the sudden U.S. travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, highlighting the challenges facing airlines trying to deal with the new rules.
Nicoley Baublies, from the German cabin crew union UFO, said the move was very unusual and meant uncertainty for airlines in terms 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 told Reuters at Frankfurt airport.
A spokesman for Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi said the airline had “taken steps to ensure there will be no issues for flights departing over the coming weeks.”
Number of people affected by the travel ban
Donald Trump’s administration has said only 109 people out of 325,000 were affected by the travel ban. However, this figure doesn’t take into account people trying to board planes, people detained once their flight landed and visa holders. With this in mind, it’s been suggested the figure is close to 90,000.
Tens of thousands of people will be affected immediately and more as the 120 days wear on.
Fifteen of the 19 9/11 attackers came from Saudi Arabia, the rest came from the Lebanon, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.
None of these countries are on the banned list – nor is Pakistan, where the Taliban and al Qaeda have bases or Tunisia – the biggest supplier of fighters to Islamic State. Belgium or France which are the home countries of numerous terrorists behind recent attacks are also not on the list.