After several days of confusion and chaos, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) was among airlines notified by the industry organization IATA during the weekend that US President Donald Trump’s controversial ban on entry for citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries had been lifted. After a US federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against it, on the grounds it violated both federal law and the US Constitution, a federal appeals court also refused Trump’s demand to reimpose the ban until the case had been fully heard.
That cleared the way for SAS and other airlines to once again allow all passengers with valid travel documents and visas to board US-bound flights. The ban had applied to all citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. Trump’s administration believed they all were under suspicion of being terrorists and should not be allowed into the US for up to 120 days or more, until they had new “extreme vetting” procedures in place.
The ban spurred worldwide outcry, also in Norway, because it was viewed as discriminatory on the basis of nationality and religion. Several US-bound travelers from Norway were among those arrested and, in the case of one Norwegian resident holding an Iranian passport, summarily deported and sent back to Norway on the next available flight.
Newspaper Aftenposten was among media outlets able to report joyful arrivals and family reunions at US airports during the weekend after the travel ban was lifted. It followed massive demonstrations both in the US and abroad, with as many as 40,000 people gathering in London to protest the ban and urge Prime Minister Theresa May to withdraw her invitation to Trump for a state visit later this year.