Delays in aircraft deliveries have not only forced Emirates to pushback start dates for two new California destinations, but have also constrained the number of flights offered by the carrier to those cities.

Prior to the Boeing machinists strike in July Emirates warned of 777 delivery delays due to production problems with a galley supplier.

Flights offered by Emirates that began on 26 October between Dubai and Los Angeles debuted more than a month behind the targeted 11 September launch date.

Emirates senior vice president commercial operations for the Americas Nigel Page tells ATI the carrier had to scale back plans for daily service to three weekly flights as a result of Boeing freezing aircraft deliveries with the start of the machinists strike now entering its ninth week.

On 6 September when the Boeing employees represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM) opted to strike, four Emirates 777s were part of 11 of the type at various stages of completion at the airframer's facility in Everett, Washington.

Page says Emirates is sourcing the Los Angeles route with a Boeing 777-200LR from its existing fleet, which comprises six aircraft of the type according to the ATI ACAS database.

The carrier will experience the same scenario on its Dubai-San Francisco flights scheduled for launch on 15 December instead of the original 26 October date for the inaugural flight.

Emirates again has to offer three weekly flights in the market. Page explains that the carrier opted to solidify a December launch date for San Francisco service and offer fewer frequencies since there is "absolutely no indication of when the strike will end".

Page could not comment if Emirates was taking the 777-200LRs pegged for Los Angeles and San Francisco off of other routes other than stating there were just enough aircraft in the airline's existing reserve to accommodate the flights.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news