It looks like the idea that penalizing travelers isn't working well for President Donald Trump.
The Middle East's biggest airline, Emirates, is cutting back on flights to the United States. According to the company, this is due to the fact that the demand has dropped considerably ever since Trump imposed what has now been dubbed the “Muslim ban.”
Adding insult to injury, Trump later introduced an electronic device ban on flights from certain Middle East air carriers, including Emirates, Egypt Air, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, and Turkish Airlines, forcing many travelers to change their plans altogether by putting an end to their frequent visits to the United States. As a result, companies have seen the demand drop ever further, hurting not only their profits but the tourism business in America as well.
According to the Dubai-based airline, daily flights from Dubai to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will be cut to five a week, while flights to Los Angeles, Boston, and Seattle will now only occur once a day, instead of twice.
To experts, this means that high-end markets in the United States will suffer. It's a sector that the president knows well, as his luxury hotels may feel the impact over time.
“Over the past three months, we have seen a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our [U.S.] routes, across all travel segments,” an Emirates statement read. “The recent actions taken by the [U.S.] 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” country, the statement explained.
Unfortunately, the “profit-oriented enterprise,” as Emirates called itself, isn't seeing any benefits in its continued push to provide flights to the country when search for their services has dropped so dramatically and so quickly, even after the company offered premium passengers traveling to America laptops on loan.
But to the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies, a lobbying organization representing American air companies Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines, the Emirates' response isn't all that fair. Calling the Dubai-based enterprise's profit-oriented claim “laughable,” the firm stated that Emirates makes money when it loses flights due to the government subsidies it receives.
Since 2015, domestic airlines have complained about the “unfair competition.” But despite their complaints, many economists have already pointed out that American consumers would benefit tremendously if the U.S. government allowed international airlines to compete with U.S. companies for domestic flights.
If the American companies' lobbying firm is so seriously concerned about unfair competition, they should first address why they won't press the Trump administration to bring the domestic airline monopoly to an end, then they may proceed to complain about foreign competitors. Something tells us that won't happen any time soon.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters