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Emirates airline changes pilots and flight crew on US flights because of Donald Trump 'Muslim travel ban'


Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways and Germany's Lufthansa also affected by the new US policies

Emirates airline is reportedly changing its pilots and cabin crews on flights to the United States following Donald Trump's executive order banning travel from several Muslim-majority countries.

The Dubai-based carrier, which has 11 flights to US cities each day, made "the necessary adjustments to our crewing, to comply with the latest requirements," an Emirates spokeswoman told Reuters on Sunday

The President's executive order temporarily suspended refugees and immigrants travelling from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US.

Reuters reports the ban also applies to pilots and flight attendants from those seven countries, even though all flight crew who are not US citizens already need a special visa to enter the country.

The impact of the ban on operations would be minimal, another spokeswoman told the agency, as Emirates employs over 23,000 flight attendants and around 4,000 pilots from around the world.

Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways told Reuters the airline had "taken steps to ensure there will be no issues for flights departing over the coming weeks" while Germany's Lufthansa confirmed airlines and passengers were required to follow the new rules.

Separately, Etihad said a number of its passengers had been affected by the new US immigration policies. 

The carrier said it is offering affected passengers refunds or flight changes where possible.

On Monday, global airlines association IATA, which represents 265 airlines, said the order was issued without prior coordination or warning, causing confusion among travellers and its own members, who are now at the forefront of implementing the rules.

"It also placed additional burdens on airlines to comply with unclear requirements, to bear implementation costs and to face potential penalties for non-compliance," it said in a statement, calling for more clarity and more notice in the future.

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