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.
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.
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 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.”