Emirates cuts flights to United States as demand weakens
Emirates cuts flights to United States as demand weakens
Emirates reducing US flights amid 'weakened travel demand'
20 April, 2017, 09:43
The Trump administration has also attempted to issue a travel ban to the US for nationals of six Muslim-majority countries - though the United Arab Emirates is not on that list.
It called the move "a commercial decision in response to weakened travel demand" in the three months since President Donald Trump took office.
From 1 May and 23 May respectively, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando will be cut to five-times weekly from daily service.
In addition to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, the flight reductions will affect three other of the 12 USA cities it serves - Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle, Emirates said.
Today, Emirates announced it will be reducing flights to five of the 12 USA destinations it now serves-perhaps the first sign that a series of policy changes affecting the ease of travel from the Middle East to the U.S.is having tangible effects on passenger numbers.
The March 6 visa ban has also been put on hold due to court rulings in Maryland and Hawaii, which found the measure was likely unconstitutional and tainted by anti-Muslim bias.
In all, the airline will have 101 flight departures per week in the United States.
"Over the past 3 months, we have seen a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our USA routes, across all travel segments", says Emirates' spokesperson, adding that the airline will reinstate and resume U.S. growth if it's viable. "However, over the past 3 months, we have seen a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our USA routes, across all travel segments".
It said it is responding as "any profit-oriented enterprise would" and will use the capacity freed up by the culled routes elsewhere on its network.
Emirates and the other Gulf carriers, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, have been in the firing line of new USA policies on immigration and security.
The third Middle East carrier selectively targeted for the commercially damaging curbs on what passengers can carry as hand luggage on flights to the United States is Etihad, with 25 of the big Boeings on order.
"And the downturn in global travel to the U.S.is not just affecting NY".
The airline announced today that it is slashing more than half of its U.S. gateway routes of nonstop flights from Dubai.
Jill Zuckman, a spokeswoman for the "Partnership for Open & Fair Skies" campaign opposing more US routes for the Gulf carriers, was quick to seize on Emirates' decision.
Although Trump's travel ban was blocked by the courts and isn't now impacting travelers, news about the ban may be impacting travelers' willingness to fly to the U.S.
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