Another Mideast airline cuts back US flights

Another Mideast airline cuts back US flights
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Etihad Airways is suspending flights to San Francisco amid lower than expected demand from passengers, according to Reuters.

The Abu Dhabi-based air carrier had already reduced the daily flight route down to three times a week earlier this year.

Starting Oct. 29, Etihad will stop the San Francisco flights altogether, citing profitability issues. Passengers who already purchased tickets on that route will either be re-booked or refunded, the airline said in a statement on Wednesday.

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The news Wednesday comes after Qatar Airways announced in April that it will be adding a direct flight route to San Francisco next year.

But Emirates, the Middle East's biggest airline, announced earlier this year that it was scaling back flights to the U.S. because of "weakened travel demand" in response to some of the Trump administration’s policies, such as a recent ban on large electronics on U.S.-bound flights from select airports in the Middle East and Africa.

"The recent actions taken by the US 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.,” Emirates said.

Etihad, however, did not cite U.S. policies in its statement on Wednesday, according to Reuters.