On Wednesday, Emirates slashed flights to the United States by 20%. The flight reductions will impact 5 of the 12 Emirates US gateway cities. Emirates blamed the drop in demand on the recently implemented Electronics Ban
and Trump administration attempts to ban travelers from several Muslim-majority nations.
According to Reuters
, an Emirates spokesperson stated, “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 United States. 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.”
The following Dubai routes will be reduced:
- Once daily from Boston, Los Angeles & Seattle (down from 2x daily, Boston will now fly A380)
- 5x weekly from Orlando and Fort Lauderdale (down from daily)
The one bright spot in this is that Boston will now be serviced by an A380 which provides more opportunities for passengers to try out the fancy shower in First Class. This can still be done by accruing enough
Alaska Mileage Plan miles.
I have little doubt that the Electronics Ban is a protectionist move by the Trump administration to adversely impact Emirates, Etihad and Qatar (Middle East 3 = ME3), thus reducing competition for US legacy carriers. The ban impacted no US airlines and was not implemented by any other countries for flights from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Doha (ME3 hubs). I realize security is paramount, but in this instance it does not seem the ban was applied uniformly. The ban has reduced travelers visiting the United States, which is bad for the US economy as a whole.
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