Emirates' inaugural Dubai-San Francisco flight utilizing a polar routing on 15 December surpassed the carrier's projected time savings by 25 minutes.
SVP public, government and environmental affairs Andrew Parker told ATI earlier today at a ceremony celebrating the Boeing 777-200LR's landing that Emirates was conservative in its estimates of shaving 20 minutes off the flight. Actual flight time of the projected 16 hour flight was 15 hours and 20 minutes, which also means the carrier saved more than the estimated 7,570 litres (2,000USgal) of fuel on the route.
Parker says flight 225 had to track somewhat south of its planned North Pole routing primarily due to weather patterns Emirates tracked the night before.
Emirates particularly made up time over Russia, as polar corridors over that region have been broken into six lanes instead of a single corridor. Parker explains the Emirates flight to San Francisco was operating in one of the left lanes.
The carrier's original projections showed roughly an 8,100 nautical mile route, but the actual miles logged were 7,150.
Parker notes that Emirates flights from Dubai to Los Angeles that began on 26 October using polar routes have averaged 7,800-7,900 on a challenging day.
Noting the "FAA really helped us today" Parker says the 777-200LR used the specific "Golden Gate Five" route over the US states of Oregon, Washington and California using a continuous descent approach.
Placing an 8.5 rating out of 10 on today's flight Parker points out "it was not perfect" due to a few minor air traffic control challenges resulting in a slightly different routing.
Emirates CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum says Emirates plans to use the polar routing on other routes outside the USA.