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Canadian airlines allow boarding after court blocks Trump travel ban

Canadian airlines are now allowing immigrants, travellers and refugees previously banned by President Donald Trump to board U.S.-bound flights.

Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

Canadian airlines are now allowing immigrants, travellers and refugees previously banned by President Donald Trump to board U.S.-bound flights.

Air Canada, WestJet and Porter Airlines all confirmed Saturday that they will follow a ruling by Judge James Robart, of the U.S. federal court in Seattle, that blocked Mr. Trump's executive order on immigration.

Explainer: What we know so far about the ban and how it affects Canadians

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The order had barred nationals of seven majority-Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) from entering the U.S. for 90 days, and also stopped all refugees from coming to the country for 180 days.

Air Canada said the U.S. government told the company Friday that the people barred by Mr. Trump will now be let in, and the carrier "immediately" moved to allow them to board.

"We were informed by U.S. Authorities Friday evening that the CBP was returning to its operating procedures as they were prior to the signing of the Executive Order, and we immediately revised ou‎r travel documentation checks  to remain compliant," Air Canada spokesman John Reber wrote in an e-mail Saturday.

Mr. Reber would not say how many Air Canada passengers had been affected by the ban, only that it was "very few."

The country's largest carrier, Air Canada serves cities across the U.S. and around the world.

WestJet spokeswoman Lauren Stewart said her company had spoken with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and has begun boarding people who had been excluded by Mr. Trump.


"WestJet has confirmation from US CPB that we can return to pre-executive order entrance requirements while the temporary restraining order is in place," she wrote in an email. "We have updated our advisory and website and are allowing travel with the proper documentation."

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Ms. Stewart said her company will not reveal how many of its passengers were blocked from entering the U.S. after Mr. Trump signed the order eight days ago. Calgary-based WestJet serves more than 20 cities across the United States.


Porter, which services eight eastern U.S. destinations, confirmed it has also issued orders to personnel to follow the court ruling.

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