A passenger buys a ticket at an Emirates airline counter beside a dangerous goods warning sign in Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, on March 21, 2017. (Photos by AFP)
Emirates airline has announced that it is reducing flights to five US cities due to a weaker demand from the Middle East following travel restrictions imposed by the administration of US President Donald Trump.
“Over the past three months, we have seen a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our US routes, across all travel segments,” said an Emirates spokeswoman on Wednesday.
After taking office, Trump signed two executive orders baring entry on refugees and citizens from several Muslim-majority countries to the US. His administration also imposed security measures banning large electronic devices such as laptops from being brought on to flights from several countries.
“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,” she added.
In accordance with the latest announcement, the airline said that flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando would be reduced to five a week in May from once a day, and Boston and Seattle flights would be cut to a daily service in June from a twice a day one.
Trump signed an initial executive order in late January, originally placing a 90-day travel ban on people from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, and Yemen and a 120-day ban on any refugees. Iraq was removed from the list in a revised version of the ban on March 6.
The January order was blocked by a judge in Seattle amid mass protests worldwide.
The March 6 visa ban has also been put on hold due to court rulings in Maryland and Hawaii, which found the measure was likely unconstitutional and tainted by anti-Muslim bias.
Despite both bans being blocked by US judges, large numbers of people have been deterred from traveling to the US.
Click here to submit story ideas.