Emirates will cut flights to five of US cities as demand deteriorated after USA restrictions on travel and on-board electronics affecting Middle East carriers and passengers.
US President Donald Trump issued an executive order halting new visas for people from six majority-Muslim countries and suspending refugee admissions for 120 days.
Earlier, Trump issued two orders, both blocked by US courts, that sought to bar citizens from several majority-Muslim countries from entering the USA, part of his effort to protect USA borders from new terrorist attacks and impose "extreme vetting" on immigrants looking to settle in the country.
The US administration has also introduced new security measures banning electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from being taking into aircraft cabins on direct flights to the US from several Middle East locations, including Dubai.
Emirates said the cuts will affect five of its routes to 12 United States destinations and will begin next month.
"This is a commercial decision in response to weakened travel demand to the U.S.", Emirates said in a statement provided to NBC News. Flights to Seattle, Boston and Los Angeles will now be once a day instead of twice.
Twice daily Los Angeles flights would also be reduced in July to one a day, it added. They also say the ME3 are in violation of the Open Skies agreements that govern air travel between the U.S. and 120 nations including the UAE and Qatar.
The cuts will reduce the number of USA -bound flights from Dubai to 101, down from 126 now. As the New York Times reports, yesterday President Trump signed an executive order calling for a reexamination of the U.S.'s H-1B visa program that now brings in 85,000 skilled foreign workers a year. From 1 May and 23 May respectively, our Fort Lauderdale and Orlando operations will move from daily services to five a week. Partnership for Open and Fair Skies, the lobbying group that represents these airlines and their unions, said the Middle East carriers have been supported by their respective governments with $50 billion in subsidies.
Emirates and its Gulf rivals deny the allegations.
In the three months Trump has been in office, however, there has been what it called "a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our US routes, across all travel segments".
In all, the airline will have 101 flight departures per week in the United States.
"And the downturn in global travel to the U.S.is not just affecting NY".
Delta Air Lines and United Airlines both stopped flying to Dubai a year ago, leaving Emirates the only carrier to offer direct USA flights to what has become the world's busiest airport for worldwide traffic.