Emirates is decreasing flight frequency to various hubs across the world and potentially seeking codeshares with United States-based airlines, noting the changes are reflecting customer demand; some air travel experts expect the slashed flights to be a temporary seasonal solution.
On Tuesday, Emirates announced it would be cutting flights in Europe, Asia, and the U.S., based on a decrease in demand. Flights from Fort Lauderdale and Orlando will go from daily flights to five a week. London will go from six to five through May 22, Munich will go from three to two in May and June, and Oslo will have a reduction in May down to six weekly flights from the previous seven. Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur will also see less flights in May and June, down to four a day and two a day respectively. Phuket will go from 14 to 11 flights per week through the end of May.
According to an Emirates spokesperson, the flight reductions are keeping in line with demand—even though demand to the US has increased after the electronics ban lifted—and are meant to ensure flights are taking off at ideal capacity for customer needs. Emirates told The National that it’s still committed to flying US routes and will continue to do so.
Some aviation experts think Emirates will look into codeshare flights with US carriers if the changes end up being permanent.
“This would be the lowest reduction Emirates would go to in terms of operation of US flights,” Mark Martin, founder of aviation consultancy Martin Consulting, told The National. “There is a sizeable number of US expats, trading companies, real estate and construction firms operating in the UAE, and I don’t think Emirates would want to jeopardize the business relationship between the two countries.”