Emirates to Reduce Flights to the USA
MIAMI – Emirates will reduce flights to the U.S. by next month due to reduced demand on U.S. flights in the wake of actions by the Trump administration. The Dubai-based carrier will not drop service to any of the 12 U.S. airports it serves, but will reduce frequencies to five of the 12 destinations.
From May 1 and May 23 respectively, the Fort Lauderdale and Orlando operations will move from daily services to five per week. From June 1, June 2, and July 11 respectively, the Seattle, Boston, and Los Angeles operations will move from twice-daily services to a single daily flight.
“This is a commercial decision in response to weakened travel demand to the U.S.,” an Emirates spokesperson said. “The recent actions taken by the U.S. government relating to the issuance of entry visas heightened security vetting, and restrictions on electronic devices in aircraft cabins have had a direct impact on consumer interest and demand for air travel into the U.S.”
Even though Emirates operations to the U.S. saw “healthy growth” through the end of 2016, the airlines’ spokesman said: “However, over the past three months, we have seen a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our U.S. routes, across all travel segments. Emirates has, therefore, responded as any profit-oriented enterprise would, and we will redeploy capacity to serve demand on other routes on our global network.”
Since President Trump took office on January 20, the administration has twice tried to impose temporary travel bans on residents from select countries in the Middle East, including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Even though both bans were struck down by U.S. federal courts, they dampened demand from Muslim-majority countries and reduced feed for the Middle Eastern carriers.
Moreover since late March, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has barred passengers traveling on nonstop flights to the U.S. from 10 airports (including Emirates’ home base of Dubai) from carrying on large electronic devices, such as laptops and tablets.
“We will closely monitor the situation with the view to reinstate and grow our US flight operations as soon as viable. Emirates is committed to our US operations and will continue to serve our 12 American gateways – New York JFK, Newark, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando – with 101 flight departures per week” the airlines’ spokesperson said.