Etihad stays firm on US routes despite Trump’s laptop ban

Airline to upgrade its second daily Abu Dhabi-New York service to A380 from June 1

Etihad Airways to upgrade its second daily Abu Dhabi-New York service to A380 from June 1

Etihad Airways to upgrade its second daily Abu Dhabi-New York service to A380 from June 1

Etihad Airways has said it is not planning to cut services on its US routes, citing strong demand despite US restrictions on travel and on-board electronics affecting Middle East carriers such as Emirates.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline has experienced “no significant change in demand” on flights to and from the US in recent weeks, it said in a statement.

“Demand continues to remain strong on all 45 weekly services between Abu Dhabi and its six US gateways of New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas,” it said.

The airline’s is set to upgrade its second daily Abu Dhabi-New York service to an A380 from June 1, making its twice-daily flights on the route an all superjumbo operation.

“This demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the US market regardless of recent developments,” the airline said.

However, Emirates said it will cut flights to five of the 12 US cities it serves after demand deteriorated due to the US electronics ban.

The Dubai-based airline said it will reduce capacity to Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale in the coming weeks and will re-deploy the capacity to serve demand on other routes across its global network.

Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ chief commercial officer, told Bloomberg on Tuesday that growth in China was helping it offset headwinds in the US with double-digit increases in demand.

But in his speech in Montreal last week, International Air Transport Association (IATA) chief executive Alexandre de Juniac also questioned the US and UK ban on laptops in cabin baggage on certain flights, saying: “Why don't the US and the UK have a common list of airports? How can laptops be secure in the cabin on some flights and not others especially on flights originating at a common airport?”

IATA February report revealed Middle Eastern carriers saw their “strongest” growth globally, with a 9.5 percent demand increase in passenger numbers year ago with capacity rising 7 percent and load factor climbing for four consecutive months to 74.3 percent.

Related:
Topics
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on arabianbusiness.com may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: sarah

I suspect the real reason for this is that Abu Dhabi airport through Etihad Airways has US pre-clearance which keeps their planes full with mainly South Asians. If Dubai did have US pre-clearance, their planes would be full also. I do think that tourists will stay clear of the US, because of leftist violence levels and a proposal by the Trump administration to require visas on EU travellers to the US with the termination of visa-free privileges. Emirates quick adjustment of its flight patterns towards Asian routes was a smart move. I predict GCC travellers will not fly this summer to the States and will choose other destinations. Eastern Europe might be a hotspot this summer. London, of course and possibly Mediterranean countries where they can enjoy milder weather conditions.

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Saudi Arabia outsources airport operations

Saudi Arabia outsources airport operations

The signing last week of public-private partnerships to manage...

The cost of the US laptop ban

The cost of the US laptop ban

Aviation analysts and airline bosses are warning of significant...

1
Q&A: The laptop ban and what it means when flying from Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Q&A: The laptop ban and what it means when flying from Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Couldn't a laptop with a bomb inside still pose a danger within...

Most Discussed
sponsoredTracking