Breaking: Emirates Announces Service Cuts to the U.S. & Blames it on Governmental Policies

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Emirates Airplane Stock

Emirates Cuts Service to U.S.

The Middle Eastern airlines have been in the news quite a bit over the past few months between the travel ban, electronics ban and their ongoing battle against the big U.S. airlines. They couldn’t help but make fun of United during last week’s debacle, but perhaps the U.S. airlines will have the last laugh.

Related: The Middle East 3 & You: Or Why You Should Welcome Their Competition!

Cuts to 5 Cities

Today the airline has announced that they will be cutting service to 5 of the 12 destinations they serve in the United States. Specifically:

  • Flights between Dubai and Ft. Lauderdale will drop from daily to five times weekly starting 5/1/2017.
  • Flights between Dubai and Orlando will drop from daily to five times weekly starting 5/23/17.
  • Flights between Dubai and Seattle will drop from twice daily to once daily starting 6/1/17.
  • Flights between Dubai and Boston will drop from twice daily to once daily starting 6/2/17.
  • Flights between Dubai and Los Angeles will drop from twice daily to once daily starting 7/1/17.

Emirates Blames the U.S. Government

Business Insider quotes an airline spokesperson as saying, “This is a commercial decision in response to weakened travel demand to US. 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.”  You can find the airline’s full statement at the end of this post.

Analysis

Our government has taken steps that have made it harder for Emirates and other Middle Eastern airlines to operate to/from the United States. From limiting their customer pool to making the flying experience less desirable, it is clear that these policies are taking a toll. Whether or not that is a good thing entirely depends on your political views and/or how you feel about these airlines and their government subsidies.

Either way I can say that Emirates, Etihad and Qatar (the Middle Eastern 3) all provide far superior service to what you can get on board American, United and even Delta. I suspect we may see similar announcements from Etihad and Qatar, simply because both airlines have grown tremendously in the U.S. market the past few years and both must be feeling the effects of these policies as well. At least Emirates hasn’t pulled out of any markets (yet).

What are your thoughts? Should we expect further cutbacks on flights to the Middle East or is this just a temporary adjustment? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Emirates Statement

“Emirates can confirm that we will be reducing flights to five of the 12 US cities we currently serve. From 1 May and 23 May respectively, our Fort Lauderdale and Orlando operations will move from daily services to five a week. From 1 and 2 June respectively, our Seattle and Boston operations will move from twice-daily services, to a daily service. From 1 July, our operations to Los Angeles will move from twice-daily to a daily service.

This is a commercial decision in response to weakened travel demand to US. 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.

Until the start of 2017, Emirates’ operations in the US have 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 US routes, across all travel segments. Emirates has therefore responded as any profit-oriented enterprise would, and we will redeploy capacity to serve demand on other routes on our global network.

We will closely monitor the situation with the view to reinstate and grow our US flight operations as soon as viable. Emirates is committed to our US operations and will continue to serve our 12 American gateways – New York JFK, Newark, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando – with 101 flight departures per week, connecting these cities to Dubai and our global network of over 150 cities.”


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13 COMMENTS

  1. Profits are way down at Emirates, this is simply a cost saving measure and an opportunity to spin these cuts. All corporations do this.

  2. The US Airlines are one of the poorest in the World, like flying a 3rd world country airline in Africa.
    US Goverment is the worst in the world, just seeking problems all over..

  3. My limited experience with Etihad Airways is that the experience may be superior to that of airlines based in the United States; but the customer service on the ground is a different story…

  4. They are subsidized by their governments. American companies cannot compete with that to begin with. Have no desire to fly with an airline using pilots who might say one day “Allah has decreed it is a good day to die.” Know enough USAF military training pilots who took over the ‘wheel’ and survived to recount the experience to dismiss the idea. Most American airline pilots are prior military with lots of flying hours–much more than any other air force in the world. Them I trust.

  5. Tell me what is it that makes their “service in the air superior to Delta for example”? Honest opinionions from someone who has flown both please and compatible classes of servie coach to coach and business class to business class. I would be interested to hear the comparisons.

  6. Ouch. Well now at least the Gulf carriers can better appreciate how much it sucks to compete in markets where foreign governments intervene to undermine them the way they have done to others with their enormous subsidies and predatory pricing.

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