By Associated Press
The Middle East’s biggest airline says its flights to the United States are operating as normal as new travel guidelines come into effect for travelers for six mainly Muslim nations.
Dubai-based Emirates said in response to questions on the travel ban Thursday that it “remains guided by the US Customs and Border Protection on this matter.”
The carrier reminded passengers that they “must possess the appropriate travel documents, including a valid US entry visa, in order to travel.”
Emirates in April announced it was reducing flights to the U.S. because of a drop in demand linked to tougher security and proposed visa measures. It flies from Dubai to 12 US destinations, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.
Also, an official at the Beirut airport says Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines carrier has not received any new guidelines yet and they’re operating as normal.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to media. MEA does not operate direct flights to the United States but is used by many Syrians who travel to the U.S. via MEA with a stopover in Europe.
The guidelines are getting clearer on a travel ban partially restored by the US Supreme Court.
The Trump administration has set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a “close” family or business tie to the United States. The move comes after the court partially restored President Donald Trump’s executive order that was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims.
Visas that have already been approved will not be revoked.
But instructions issued by the State Department on Wednesday said that new applicants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the United States to be eligible. The same requirement, with some exceptions, holds for would-be refugees from all nations that are still awaiting approval for admission to the US.
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