US west coast launch bolsters use of polar routing by Emirates

Washington DC
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Building on work initiated in 2000 Emirates plans frequent use of polar routings for service to its newest US destinations on the country's west coast.

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 30,000lb (13,607kg) of carbon emissions on the flight.

Emirates has authority for 207 minute extended twin operations (ETOPS) for its Boeing 777-200LR fleet used on recently-inaugurated flights to Los Angeles and the newest US destination of San Francisco.

"The difference of the routing on the day indicates that flying the polar track versus a more westerly routing can save up to 20 minutes," explains Emirates, in terms of time savings on the new San Francisco flight.

During planning for the launch of service to the two US west coast cities, Emirates says it became clear that at certain times to route east out of Dubai and head for the polar region supplied the most optimum route.

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

While its dispatchers always select the optimum route for a given day, Emirates anticipates "both the Los Angeles and San Francisco flights using this route frequently".

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

"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, JFK and Houston flights," the carrier says.

Once it determined using polar routing was optimal from Dubai to Los Angeles and San Francisco during 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.