Emirates to cut US flights after Trump travel restrictions

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Emirates will reduce flights to five US cities from next month, after new security rules targeted travellers from the Middle East.

The Dubai-based airline said the change was due to weaker demand for US travel.

In March, the US banned electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from cabin luggage on flights from 10 airports.

This included Dubai, as well as from other airports in the Middle East, north Africa and Turkey.

The UK imposed similar rules to the US.

US President Donald Trump has also signed two executive orders to bar refugees and nationals of several Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and north Africa from travelling to the US. Those bans have been contested in court.

Emirates president Tim Clark said last month that demand to the US had fallen by about a third since Mr Trump’s announcements.

The airline, one of the world’s largest, has also introduced new services to cope with the laptop ban, offering tablets on loan to passengers and services to check the electronics in at the gate.

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Emirates said it will reduce direct flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando to five a week in May from the current daily flights.

The airline will also cut back its twice-daily flights to Seattle and Boston in June to once a day, and to Los Angeles to once a day in July.

However Etihad, its Abu Dhabi-based rival, said it had not seen a significant change in demand for travel to the US in recent weeks. The airline flies to six US cities.

Emirates made its first flight to North America in 2004. It now serves 12 US destinations, launching its most recent route, between Athens and Newark, last month.

Its expansion has led to conflict with US airlines, which have accused the group of receiving government subsidies.

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