Emirates, which is the largest airline in the Middle East, and the fourth largest in the world by passenger revenue, has announced they will be slashing their flights to the United States by 20 percent. The airline says demand for tickets to the US has come down substantially following tougher security measures after Trump’s travel restrictions.
Last month, the US banned laptops and other electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from cabin luggage on flights to the United States from 10 airports, including Dubai and many other airports in North Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East. Travel ban on people traveling from Muslim countries is another factor. Taking a leaf from America, the UK too imposed similar rules.
The Flying Schedule of Emirates
With these cuts by Emirates, the number of flights to the US from Dubai will come down to 101 from the present 126. Emirates will now fly to Seattle, Los Angeles, and Boston once daily instead of running two flights every day. Also, instead of daily flights to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Emirates will now fly five times every week to these cities.
The cutbacks will be starting next month. A total of 5 destinations will be affected. The Dubai-based carrier presently flies to 12 destinations in the country.
Emirates is based out of Dubai International Airport, which is the third-busiest airport in the world, and also a major transit point for travelers who are affected by Trump’s order of temporarily halting entry from six countries, namely Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Iran. The travel ban was for Iraqi citizens too, but court orders have blocked this, so the country is exempt for now, at least.
Airlines from the Gulf Will Suffer Financially Because of the Decision
The fact that Emirates says demand for tickets to the US is down, shows that the decision of Trump will take a financial toll on carriers from the Gulf countries.
The Americas, which includes Latin America and Canada, generated $22.75 billion in revenue for Emirates in the year ending March 2016, which was about 14 percent of their overall revenue. This is likely to drop with the decision of cutting down flights.
Other major airlines from the region, such as the Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways may also cut down the number of their flights to the United States because it is likely that they too are experiencing lower demands.