Dubai airport sends back “handful of people” after Trump ban

January 30, 2017 10:50 am

Demonstrators spell out “# No Muslim Ban” during the “Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders” to protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

A “handful of people” have been stopped from flying to the United States from Dubai International Airport following a U.S. travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, the airport operator’s chief executive said on Monday.

“The effect has been very minimal at the moment. We don’t have the exact figures but literally a handful of people have had to be looked after and repatriated to their point of origin,” Dubai Airports Chief Executive Paul Griffiths told the Dubai Eye radio station in an interview on Monday.

ALSO READ: In Middle East, US travel curbs decried as unjust, insulting

Dubai airport, is the world’s busiest for international travel and the hub for Emirates, the world’s largest long-haul airline.

President Donald Trump on Friday suspended the entry of people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The decision caught airlines off guard, leading to challenges in enforcing the new rules.

Emirates said on Sunday it had to change staffing on U.S.-bound flights “to comply with the latest requirements” and earlier said that “a very small number” of its passengers had been affected by the ban.

ALSO READ: Trump’s travel ban: Middle East airlines, airports make adjustments

Abu Dhabi International on Sunday directed questions on the number of passengers affected by the ban to its hub carrier Etihad Airways.

Etihad earlier said “a number of our passengers” had been affected and that it had “taken steps to ensure there will be no issues for flights departing over the coming weeks.”

The airline did not provide further details.

ALSO READ: Iran bans U.S. visitors in retaliation to Trump’s travel curbs

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