US West Coast launch bolsters use of polar routes by Emirates

Washington DC
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Emirates plans frequent use of polar routeings to serve its newest US West Coast destinations, building on work initiated in 2000.

The carrier plans to operate a North Pole track on its inaugural Dubai-San Francisco flight on 15 December as part of several initiatives to save 7,570 litres (2,000USgal) of fuel and 13,610kg (30,000lb) of carbon emissions on the flight.

Emirates has authority for 207min extended range twin-engine operations for its Boeing 777-200LR fleet used to recently inaugurate flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

"The difference of the routeing on the day indicates that flying the polar track versus a more westerly routing can save up to 20min," says Emirates of its new San Francisco flight.

During planning for the service launch to the two US west coast cities Emirates says it became clear that at certain times of the year routeing east traffic out of Dubai and heading for the polar region was the optimum route.

Although Emirates expected to use the routeing during certain months of the year, it says that "since starting flights to Los Angeles [on 26 October], the route has come up more often as the best on the day".

While its dispatchers always select the optimum route on the day, Emirates expects both services will use this route frequently.

Key to operation of polar routes by Emirates was reaching an agreement with the Russian government.

"Predominant traffic flows are west-east and we started requesting additional segments and straightening of airways to allow us to operate south-north and optimise routes for our northern Europe, New York Kennedy and Houston flights," the carrier says.

Once it determined polar routeing was optimal from Dubai to Los Angeles and San Francisco at certain times of the year, Emirates worked with Russian authorities to ensure the availability of the route. Emirates has added 16 additional segments in the Polar routing framework.