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Emirates is reducing service to five of the 12 U.S. cities
it serves, citing weakened demand related to increased travel restrictions. "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.," Emirates wrote
in a letter to its agency partners. "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."
Service cuts include:
Travelers who already have booked on those canceled flights
have been automatically rebooked on other flights and their fares are eligible
for refunds, according to Emirates.
Both the U.S.
Travel Association and the International
Air Transport Association released reports this month that showed that
international travel demand to the U.S. has remained strong. They also
cautioned, however, that both the electronics ban and President Donald Trump's
immigration-related executive orders could stifle demand in the long term. The
electronics ban in particular affects Emirates' flights to the U.S.; the U.S.
included Dubai in its ban, while the U.K. did not. Like
Qatar Airways, Emirates is attempting to mitigate that by loaning free
Microsoft Surface tablets to First and Business Class passengers who are flying
to the U.S.
the reductions, Emirates will operate 101 flights to the U.S. per week. The
carrier said it would "closely monitor the situation with the view to
reinstate and grow our U.S. flight operations as soon as viable."