Thursday, April 20, 2017

Emirates to reduce US service; blames Trump administration actions

Dubai-headquartered Emirates airline will be reducing the number of flights to five of the 12 U.S. gateway cities it serves because of reduced demand caused by more stringent U.S. security measures and travel bans on citizens of a number of countries.

In the announcement made April 19, the carrier said it would reduce the current twice-daily flights to Boston Logan International (BOS), Los Angeles International (LAX) and Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA) to a single daily flight from each gateway airport. Flights from Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) and Orlando International (MCO) will move from daily to five flights weekly.

Flights to the airline’s other seven gateways of New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Washington D.C. (IAD), Chicago (ORD), San Francisco International (SFO), Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) will not be immediately affected.

In total, the cuts will reduce U.S. flights from 126 weekly departures to 101.

Emirates A380 on the ramp at LAX
“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.,” the carrier said in a statement. Those actions relate to the issuance of entry visas, heightened security vetting, and restrictions on electronic devices in aircraft cabins.

While Emirates does not provide financial data for its U.S. operations or individual routes, it noted that, since Trump has been in office, there has been “a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our U.S. routes, across all travel segments.”

Mideast carrier Etihad Airways reportedly has no plan to reduce its U.S. services.

Emirates, Ethiad and Gulf carrier Qatar Airways have been the focus of a push led by the three U.S. legacy carriers to limit further expansion by the three Gulf carriers. The U.S. airlines claim the Persian Gulf airlines Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways enjoy an “unfair advantage” in the form of subsidies from their countries’ governments, a charge Emirates strongly refuted and which the other carriers deny as well.

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Photo by Carl Dombek
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