By Parag Deulgaonkar
Abu Dhabi-based airline says it will provide up-to-date information to guests, ensure all assistance
UAE carrier Etihad Airways has advised passengers travelling to the United States from the six banned Muslim nations to check their travel status prior to boarding their flights from Abu Dhabi airport.
The notice on its website was issued following the latest developments in the US, the revised executive order - which becomes effective on March 16 - implements a ban on nationals of Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Libya from entering the United States for 90 days (120 days for refugees from Syria) unless they held a valid United States entry visa as of 27 January 2017.
In February, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways started allowing passengers from seven countries barred by President Donald Trump's executive order to board US-bound flights after a federal judge blocked the move.
“We strongly encourage all guests who are nationals of these countries to consult with their nearest US embassy or consulate to ensure that they are legally entitled to enter the US, particularly as the US States entry requirements are subject to change and may be subject to further interpretation by US administrative agencies and courts,” the airline said.
It added that is advised that the new order does not apply to lawful permanent residents of the US (green card holders), dual nationals, diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa holders, and certain individuals who have previously been granted asylum in the US.
The order also permits certain individuals that have “a continuous period of work, study or other long-term activity” and those with “significant business or professional obligations” to apply for a waiver, which may be granted by the US on a case-by-case basis.
Etihad said its global customer contact centre will provide up-to-date information to guests and ensure that assistance is provided when necessary.
“However, it is the responsibility of guests traveling on Etihad Airways to ensure that they have the proper travel documents and visas necessary for entry into their final destination,” it added.
In a statement sent to Arabian Business, an Emirates spokesperson said it is aware of the new travel guidance issued by the US government resulting from the executive order signed on March 6 and would be effective March 16 and will comply with the guidance provided to it by the US Customs and Border Protection.