World

Airlines scramble to tweak crew rosters on US flights after travel ban

DUBAI : Emirates airline has changed crew rosters on flights to the US following the sudden travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, as airlines scramble with the rules.

The world's largest long-haul carrier, which flies daily to 11 US cities, has made "the necessary adjustments to our crewing to comply with the latest requirements", an Emirates spokesman told Reuters, adding that flight schedules were not affected.

The decision caught airlines off guard, the International Air Transport Association said.

Independent aviation consultant John Strickland told Reuters: "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."

Mr Nicoley Baublies from German cabin crew union UFO said the ban meant uncertainty for airlines planning flights.

Emirates said the impact on operations was minimal. The airline employs 23,000 flight attendants and 4,000 pilots from around the world, like the US, Europe and the Middle East.

A spokesman for Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi said it had "taken steps to ensure there will be no issues for flights departing over the coming weeks".

Qatar Airways declined to comment on the impact on flight operations, although its website reminded passengers they would need a green card or diplomatic visa to the US. - REUTERS

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