Here’s How Big of a Hit Emirates Took From the Travel and Electronics Bans

Sep 25, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

While a big drop in ticket sales could be an airline’s own doing, more often it’s external factors that are to blame. In the case of Emirates Airline, we learned Monday that two recent US initiatives have had a tremendous impact on the carrier’s revenue, specifically on flights to and from the United States.

We’re talking about the US travel ban, and the electronics ban that followed. The former blocked passengers from specific Muslim-majority countries from flying to the United States, and the carry-on electronics ban affected all travelers on certain US-bound nonstop flights from the Middle East and North Africa. For many travelers, going without a laptop on a 12-hour flight is unthinkable, and, as a result, business and leisures flyers alike ended up booking connecting flights, or bypassed affected Middle East airports entirely, going so far as to book travel on Air India, instead.

According to Emirates President Sir Tim Clark, who spoke at the APEX Expo in Long Beach on Monday, both bans had a notable negative impact on ticket sales.

“Taken together, it diminished our demand out of the US and into the US by about 15 to 20%, which of course is a major problem for us,” Clark said. “The interesting thing about it, particularly with the Muslim ban, it had a halo effect in terms of perception for all people in the area, whether they were Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist or whatever. They all believed that they were going to be subjected to very difficult entry and visa requirements. So it sort of expanded into a lot of our West Asian markets — India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Iran of course.”

So travelers who weren’t even subjected to the ban ended up avoiding travel to the US, which obviously caused even more damage to Emirates and other Middle Eastern carriers. As a result, Emirates ended up having to trim some service, and, understandably, passenger loads have likely yet to recover.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.