Emirates Is Cutting Flights to the U.S. in Response to Trump’s Visa Ban
Since the ban, the airline said it has experienced a “significant deterioration” in demand across U.S.-bound routes.
On Wednesday, Emirates, the Middle East's largest airline, announced it will be reducing its flight offerings to and from the United States in direct response to President Donald Trump’s travel ban and the subsequent downturn in demand.
“Emirates can confirm that we will be reducing flights to five of the 12 U.S. cities we currently serve,” an Emirates spokesperson said in a statement provided to Travel + Leisure.
The statement added that starting in May the airline’s Fort Lauderdale and Orlando operations will move from daily services to five a week. In June, Emirates will move from twice-daily services to Seattle and Boston to just one daily flight. And in July, Emirates operations to Los Angeles will move from twice daily to once a day.
“This is a commercial decision in response to weakened travel demand to U.S. 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 airline said.
Until January 2017, when President Trump signed the highly controversial travel ban, which attempted to restrict travel to the U.S. for citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations, Emirates says its operations in the U.S. had seen healthy growth and performance. However, since the ban, the airline said it has experienced a “significant deterioration” in the booking profiles on all U.S. routes and across all travel segments.
“We will closely monitor the situation with the view to reinstate and grow our U.S. flight operations as soon as viable,” the airline said, adding, “Emirates is committed to our U.S. operations and will continue to serve our 12 American gateways – New York JFK, Newark, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando - with 101 flight departures per week, connecting these cities to Dubai and our global network of over 150 cities.”