On March 25, the United States banned electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from passenger cabins of direct flights from eight countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, including Qatar and the flights UAE. Britain followed the same day with similar measures, including banning larger electronics on flights from some Middle East countries but not Qatar and the UAE where it instead requested additional security checks. Australia's additional checks on passengers and baggage apply to Qatar and the UAE as they are the only Middle East countries with which it has direct air links. The additional security measures were made based on intelligence suggesting flights could be targeted for attack. "What we have seen from them is a less than uniform way of doing things," Bridges said of the different measures introduced by the United States, Britain and Australia, all close allies of New Zealand. Last week, Emirates said it was cutting flights to the United States after new restrictions weakened demand. Bridges said he is scheduled to meet with Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum this week where he would make clear that New Zealand is open to additional services. Emirates flies to New Zealand cities Auckland and Christchurch, mostly via Australia, although it operates a direct daily flight to Auckland. Qatar Airways only flies direct to Auckland.
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In one of the strongest signs yet that President Trump is having a negative impact on US tourism, the Middle Eastern airline said that next month it would cut the number of weekly flights it makes to the US from 126 to 101. Twice daily flights to Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle will be reduced to one a day. The Dubai government-owned carrier claimed Trumps failed travel ban along with tougher security restrictions for travellers from the Middle East and North Africa had sent demand for US-bound flights plummeting. View photos Twice daily flights to LA (pictured), Boston and Seattle will be reduced to one a day Credit: ALAMY More Last month the Trump administration banned laptops and other electronic devices from being carried in the cabin on flights from several Middle Eastern and North African countries. The recent actions taken by the US government relating to the issuance of airlines that fly to hawaii 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 US, the airline said in a statement. Emirates claimed it had seen healthy growth in the US until the start of the year. However, since Donald Trump took office, the airline claims there has been a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our US routes, across all travel segments. View photos Daily flights to Fort Lauderdale (pictured) and Orlando will be reduced to five per week Credit: AP/FOTOLIA More Emirates announcement comes days after the head of the worlds biggest hotel company, Arne Sorenson, the chief executive of Marriott International, warned that President Trumps controversial immigration policies were damaging the US tourist industry. The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) concurs. It claimed recently that the US lost $185 million (152m) in tourism revenue after Trumps first travel ban was introduced. The ban prohibited citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days.
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