Emirates cuts flights to US over laptop ban – The National

Emirates said on Wednesday that it is cutting flights to the United States because of a drop in demand caused by heightened US security measures and Trump administration attempts to ban travellers from Muslim-majority nations.

Dubai was one of 10 cities affected by a ban on laptops and other personal electronics in carry-on luggage aboard US-bound flights.

Emirates’ hub at Dubai International Airport, the world’s third busiest, is a major transit point for travellers who were affected by the US president Donald Trump’s executive orders temporarily halting entry to citizens of six countries.

The latest travel ban suspended new visas for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and froze the nation’s refugee programme. Like an earlier ban that also included Iraqi citizens, it has been blocked from taking effect by the courts.

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 Mr Trump took office.

“The recent actions taken by the US 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 US,” the carrier said.

The cuts will reduce the number of US-bound flights from Dubai to 101, down from 126 currently.

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.

* AP

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