CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Emirates reduces flights on five U.S. routes as restrictions hit demand

Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:05pm GMT

(Corrects the number of U.S. destinations Emirates has targeted to serve as 15)

* Trump's executive orders deterred some Middle East travellers

* Emirates has been expanding U.S. destinations

* Rival Etihad says no plans to cut back on its U.S. services

By Alexander Cornwell

DUBAI, April 19 (Reuters) - Emirates, the largest international airline by passenger traffic, said on Wednesday it was cutting flights on five U.S. routes after restrictions imposed by President Donald Trump's administration weakened demand from the Middle East.

Since taking office, Trump has signed two executive orders banning refugees and citizens from several Muslim-majority countries from visiting the United States. Although both moves were blocked by U.S. judges, some travellers have been deterred.

The U.S. administration also introduced new security measures in March banning electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from being taken into aircraft cabins on direct flights to the United States from several Middle East locations.

"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 U.S.," an Emirates spokeswoman said.   Continued...

Powered by Reuters AlertNet. AlertNet provides news, images and insight from the world's disasters and conflicts and is brought to you by Reuters Foundation.