Emirates changes flight crews after Trump travel ban, Dubai airport sends back 'handful of people'

An Emirates Airbus A380 plane prepares to land at Logan International Airport (BOS) in Boston, Massachusetts,  on Jan 6, 2017.
An Emirates Airbus A380 plane prepares to land at Logan International Airport (BOS) in Boston, Massachusetts, on Jan 6, 2017. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

DUBAI (AFP, REUTERS) - Dubai carrier Emirates, the world's largest long-haul airline, said it has adjusted its crews for flights to the United States following President Donald Trump's travel ban on people from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

The new president faced mass protests and global outrage over the controversial bar on travellers from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, as around 300 people were stopped or detained worldwide en route to the US.

"We have made the necessary adjustments to our crewing, to comply with the latest requirements," a statement from Emirates said.

The carrier added that no staff member had yet been affected by the travel restrictions and stressed that all flights to the US were operating as scheduled.

Trump on Friday suspended the entry of people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The decision caught airlines off guard, leading to challenges in enforcing the new rules.

Abu Dhabi International on Sunday directed questions on the number of passengers affected by the ban to its hub carrier Etihad Airways.

Etihad earlier said "a number of our passengers" had been affected and that it had "taken steps to ensure there will be no issues for flights departing over the coming weeks." The airline did not provide further details.

Meanwhile, the Dubai International Airport said a "handful of people" have been stopped from flying to the US following the ban, the airport operator's chief executive said on Monday.

"The effect has been very minimal at the moment. We don't have the exact figures but literally a handful of people have had to be looked after and repatriated to their point of origin," Dubai Airports Chief Executive Paul Griffiths told the Dubai Eye radio station in an interview on Monday.

Dubai airport is the world's busiest for international travel and the hub for Emirates.

Separately, Japan's biggest airline, ANA Holdings on Monday said it will screen passengers at check-in from the seven countries and halt those banned by the Trump order.

Airport staff at ANA will ask the US Customs and Border Protection agency whether passengers from those countries with green cards or diplomatic visas should be allowed board, a spokeswoman for the airline said.

Passengers from nations affected by the travel ban who possess other visas will automatically be stopped from flying, she added.

Japan Airlines has also implemented a similar policy.