Emirates cuts flights to US in response to laptop ban

Emirates cuts flights to US in response to laptop ban

Emirates will reduce its flights to five US cities as a consequence of the US ban on electronic devices in cabins services from Dubai.

Gulf carrier Emirates announced the reduction in flights on Wednesday, saying demand to the US had fallen by about one third since the imposition of the ban.

The US imposed a ban on laptops, tablets e-readers, games consoles and other devices bigger than a smart phone on flights to the US from 10 airports in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey – including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha – in March because of security concerns.

It did not give further details, but excluded US airlines from the ban.

The UK followed suit almost immediately, but with a ban which excluded Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha and which extended to UK carriers.

US president Trump has also sought to ban nationals of six Muslim majority countries from entering the US, although his executive order remains suspended by a US court.

Emirates previously announced measures to cope with the ban, allowing passengers to check devices at the gate when boarding flights to the US.

The carrier will halve its services from Dubai to Seattle, Boston and Los Angeles, reducing flights from twice a day to daily from June, and cut services to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale from seven a week to five from May.

Emirates and its fellow Gulf carriers Etihad and Qatar Airways remain the subject of an ‘unfair competition’ complaint to Washington by US carriers United, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines.

The US carriers allege the Gulf airlines benefited from state subsidies. The Gulf carriers vigorously reject the allegations, and the US government has yet to respond.

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