Emirates airline said on Thursday it is reinstating some flights to the US after having axed the routes last year due to slower passenger demand.
The carrier said it will add two flights a week each to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando from March 25 as a result of what Emirates described as “the steady rebound in customer demand.”
The latest additions will restore services to both Fort Lauderdale and Orlando to daily services, after having been cut to five flights a week. Emirates had cut frequencies on five US routes spurred by policies from the Donald Trump-led US government that aimed to curb the entry of citizens from certain Muslim-majority countries.
Such policies included an electronics ban implemented on direct flights to the US from some Middle Eastern airports including Dubai International where Emirates is based, as well as bans on the entry of visitors of certain nationalities.
Other routes on which capacity was reduced are Seattle, Boston, and Los Angeles. Emirates said at the time — in April — that the decision was a commercial one “in response to weakened travel demand to US.”
The carrier blamed actions taken by the US government on heightened security vetting and restrictions on electronic devices in aircraft cabins.
However, in September, Tim Clark, president of Emirates airline, said he hoped the carrier would be able to restore capacity to the US in early to mid-2018, and that demand was still “fairly strong.”
In its statement on Thursday, Emirates said it will also reduce its services between Dubai and New York’s JFK airport to three daily flights. From JFK, Emirates will retain two non-stop flights a day to Dubai, and one flight a day via Milan.
The carrier will instead launch a new direct service between Dubai and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey from June 1. Emirates already operates a daily service to Newark but with a stop in Athens.
This will keep the total number of Emirates flights serving the New York metropolitan area unchanged at five daily services, the airline said.
The service to Newark will be operated with a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, offering a total of 356 seats across three cabin classes.