Airlines resume flights despite Trump’s Travel Ban

Hannah Edensor

Following on from President Trump’s controversial ban on travellers from seven Muslim countries, a Seattle US District Judge has blocked it, with US authorities suspending the ban shortly after.

While some airlines were waiting to see how the issue unfolds, carriers including Air France, Qatar Airways, Lufthansa and Swiss Airways said they would still carry nationals of the countries concerned if they had valid visas.

“We have reversed the provisional revocation of visas,” a State Department spokesman told AFP.

“Those individuals with visas that were not physically cancelled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid,” the official said.

A memo was sent to the nearly 200 airlines in the International Air Transport Association, stating the U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection officials confirmed the travel ban will be suspended, pending the outcome of the court’s hearing on the case.

Following the ruling from Judge James Robart, Air France told AFP, “Since this morning we are applying with immediate effect the (US) judicial decision taken overnight. All passengers presenting themselves will embark once their papers are in order to travel to the United States.”

After the US court ruling, Swiss airline also told AFP, “At the present time all passengers with valid travel documents can travel on any Swiss flights bound for the United States.”

Germany’s Lufthansa stated, “The United States federal court has blocked the travel ban to the USA with immediate effect. Visitors … holding a valid immigrant or non-immigrant visa for the US are again allowed to travel to the USA”.

Several other airlines confirmed on their websites they would carry visa-holding passengers even before news emerged of the State Department statement.

But Trump is not happy about his ban being overturned, tweeting – as he does – that the move is “ridiculous” and he would fight it.

He tweeted, “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”

Trump continued to defend his ban, tweeting the following less than 12 hours after Judge Robart’s ruling: