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Emirates and Tunisia Fight over Female Flyers

Emirates celebrates the arrival of its inaugural flight from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) via Athens International Airport (ATH) on Sunday, March 12, 2017, marking the launch of its twelfth U.S. gateway, Newark, N.J. (Stuart Ramson/AP Images for Emirates)

Tunisia bans Emirates flights after airline bans Dubai-bound passengers from country.

A political row between Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is spilling over to flyers, after both countries have put restrictions on who can fly. In response to Emirates no longer accepting Tunisian women with tickets to Dubai, the Tunisian government has banned the airline from flying in their nation.

The situation began on Friday, December 22, 2017, when Emirates prohibited women from Tunisia flying direct to Dubai. Al Jazeera reports that the ban came down from the UAE central government, who claimed the decision was made over “security concerns” and a “terrorist threat.” Neither the airlines nor top-level officials would not specify if the threat was directed at the airline or the city of Dubai.

As a direct response, CNN reports Tunisia has expelled Emirates from their airports, effective Monday, December 25, 2017. The airline flew to only one airport in the North African country: Tunis–Carthage International Airport (TUN). Transport ministry officials say the airline will not be allowed to resume operations until Emirates “finds a suitable solution to operate its flights in accordance with laws and international agreements.”

While both sides are not calling the situation a “diplomatic crisis,” experts on region politics say the move is spurred primarily by disagreements between the two nations. Female flyers from Tunisia have spoken out against the airline’s policies, while the decision to hand down the blanket ban could be motivated by deteriorating relations between the nations. One analyst told Al Jazeera the move shows the UAE’s “immaturity” in diplomatic matters, while the UAE defends their stance that the ban is only based on “security information that has imposed specific and circumstantial measures”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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