The Middle East’s biggest airline said on Wednesday it is reducing flights to the United States because of a drop in demand caused by tougher US security measures and attempts by the Trump administration to ban travellers from a number of Muslim-majority nations.
Emirates said the reductions will affect five of its 12 US destinations, starting next month.
It called the move “a commercial decision in response to weakened travel demand” in the three months since President Donald Trump took office.
Twice daily Emirates flights to Boston, Los Angles and Seattle will be reduced to once a day. Daily flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando will be pared down to five per week.
The Trump administration’s restrictions on carry-on electronic devices on planes coming to the US have hit hundreds of Indians who regularly transit through airports in the Middle East where the new rules are applicable.
Many Indians who fly to the US via the Middle East travel on Emirates.
Under the US department of homeland security’s rules, passengers travelling from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, have to bring devices such as tablets, laptops and cameras in their checked baggage.
The airports affected by the restrictions are served by nine airlines – Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways – that earlier flew directly to the US about 50 times a day.