Emirates cuts flights on five US routes

Dhaka,  Wed,  23 August 2017
Published : 20 Apr 2017, 15:24:46
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Emirates cuts flights on five US routes

Emirates cuts flights on five US routes
Emirates, the largest international airline by passenger traffic, said it was cutting flights on five US routes as restrictions imposed by President Donald Trump’s administration had weakened demand from the Middle East.

Since taking office, Trump has signed two executive orders banning refugees and citizens from several Muslim-majority countries from visiting the United States. Although both moves were blocked by US judges, some travellers have been deterred.

The US administration also introduced new security measures in March banning electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from being taken into aircraft cabins on direct flights to the United States from several Middle East locations.

“The recent actions taken by the US 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 US,” an Emirates spokeswoman said.

“Over the past three months, we have seen a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our US routes, across all travel segments,” the Emirates spokeswoman said.

Rival carrier Etihad Airways said it had not seen any significant change in demand and had no plans at present to reduce flights to the six US cities it serves.

Fellow Gulf carrier Qatar Airways had no immediate comment when asked about any plans it had for its US routes.

Emirates, based in Dubai, flies to 12 US destinations and had said it aims to serve 15 US locations by 2018. Emirates Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori would not comment when asked on Tuesday if that target could change due to the restrictions imposed by the Trump administration, according to media reports.
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