Emirates blamed U.S. travel policies for lower demand as it cancelled one of two daily flights to Seattle, but rival U.S. airlines and a Seattle travel industry analyst aren’t buying the story.

“Seems like a flimsy excuse and it sounds more like an excuse to consolidate two weak flights into one for revenue yield purposes,” said Steve Danishek, president and owner of TMA Travel and a longtime observer of international airlines and their service into Seattle.

Dubai-based Emirates, the world’s largest…