Emirates cuts U.S. flights, blames 'Trump Slump'

 

Emirates Airways, one of the big-3 Gulf carriers, is dropping 25 flights a week between its home in Dubai and five cities in the U.S. due to a sharp drop in reservations in recent months.

The airline is blaming the slump on uncertainty over travel bans and restrictions on electronics on its flights to the U.S. In a statement, the airline said that "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."

"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."

The cuts, which will take effect over the next 2-3 months, will see twice-daily flights reduced to one-a-day between Dubai and Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle, and will cut service to its two Florida destinations, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, from every day to five-a-week.

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Maybe a description of what those travel restrictions are would be helpful. What they are and who they affect. Planning ahead for a journey to the US is very unclear at the moment as restrictions are subject to change.

 

Having just flown Emirates from Dubai to Colombo and back, and having gone through security at DXB several times, I have these observations to share:

1) Emirates offers among the finest service of any airline in the world.  And at a very good price.  If it was a convenient option, I wouldn't hesitate to fly Emirates again.  The only other airlines in my experience with a similar level of service are Singapore and Thai.  American and European airlines don't even come close.

2) DXB has security we would consider 'lax' in the west.  The security is run by immigrants with work visas, and not by the Emirates citizens.  My observations were these security employees were very deferential to Arabs, as one might expect.  A personal example (and I am a white dude) -- I forgot I had a full bottle of water in my backpack which I sip at in the hot dry air, and it passed through security without a problem.  Could easily have been an explosive solution.

3) Clearly there is a security threat from this area that we the public know nothing about.  Emirates, unfortunately, is the victim of that.  In this regard I am willing to trust the government's judgement to deal with a threat to our safety.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

So if I book a US flight with Emirates I should check first if it originated in Dubai before stopping in the UK? 

It is likely that all passengers would be rescreened in the UK -- at least that's my experience traveling from Canada and the USA.  I'm not sure if the same applies to the checked baggage, but the current threat seems to have to deal with personal electronic devices.  These would obviously pass through the UK's screening process.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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