Emirates trims US flights after Trump administration curbs
Delta Air Lines and United Airlines both stopped flying to Dubai past year, leaving Emirates the only carrier to offer direct US flights to what has become the world's busiest airport for worldwide traffic.
It followed an attempt by Trump to impose a travel ban on refugees and on travellers from six Muslim-majority nations.
"This is a commercial decision in response to weakened travel demand to [the] USA", the statement said.
The decision comes as consumer demand for travel to the U.S.is dampened by recent security policies implemented by the Trump Administration.
Emirates will not cut any of its 12 US destinations, but it will pare the number of flights it flies to five of those.
Etihad, a Mideast airline that competes with Emirates, said it had experienced no drop in demand for US flights. Finally, beginning July 1, Emirates' twice-daily service to Los Angeles will be cut down to a single flight. Emirates will re-deploy the capacity to serve demand on other routes across its global network.
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US officials banned passengers from carrying most electronics larger than a cellphone into the cabin on direct flights from eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
New visas for travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen were affected by the second ban. Like an earlier ban that also included Iraqi citizens, it has been blocked from taking effect by the courts. "Over the past 3 months, we have seen a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our USA routes, across all travel segments".
Fast-growing Emirates made its first flight to North America in 2004. The coalition is made up of United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines as well as a number of airline workers' unions.
Still, Emirates said it remains committed to its 12 USA gateways, which also include New York-JFK, Newark, Chicago, Houston, Washington D.C.; San Francisco and Dallas.
The changes may be seen by some as a victory for USA carriers who have repeatedly complained that Middle Eastern carriers including Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways have received government subsidies from their home countries that provide an unfair competitive advantage.
"This is a commercial decision in response to weakened travel demand to US".
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Apr 20 2017