April 19, 2017
Emirates Slashing US Flights, Citing Weak Demand
USA Today, along with a number of media outlets, is reporting that Emirates is cutting back the frequency of its flights to the US. The Middle-Eastern airline is suffering from weaker demand due to a number of factors, including the recent US Electronics Ban, which bans portable electronics from 10 Middle-Eastern cities to the US. Emirates currently flies to 12 cities within the US, and although it won’t be eliminating service from any of those destinations, it will be reducing the frequency of its flights. An Emirates spokesman said the following:
“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.”
“Until the start of 2017, Emirates’ operations in the U.S. has seen healthy growth and performance, driven by customer demand for our high-quality product and our international flight connections. However, over the past 3 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.”
The following routes will be reduced from 2X per day to 1X per day:
- Dubai (DXB)-Boston (BOS), Los Angeles (LAX), Seattle (SEA)
The following routes will be reduced from 1X per day to 5X per week:
- Dubai (DXB)-Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Orlando (MCO)
The schedule cuts will start at the end of May and will roll out through July. Overall this isn’t particularly surprising, considering the anti-immigration and anti-Middle-East rhetoric that’s been coming out of the White House since January. The Trump administration has taken concrete steps which have deterred travel to the US, including the Electronics Ban, multiple attempts to freeze visas from travelers from Middle-Eastern countries, demanding social media passwords from foreigners as well as US Citizens entering the US, and more.
Legacy US carriers like United, Delta, and American are no doubt thrilled by this news as they’ve been railing against Emirates, Qatar, and Etihad for years. With these cuts, flyers will have fewer choices when leaving the US to visit the rest of the world, and legacy US carriers will have even less of an incentive to improve their sub-par products as they’ll have less competition from airlines like Qatar, which offer a bedroom in business class and are consistently rated one of the best airlines in the world.
What do you think about how the White House’s policies are impacting international travel?
H/T: USA Today
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