SFO to Dubai Takes Flight

Emirates to launch first non-stop flight to San Francisco


Monday, Emirates Airline launched its first non-stop flight from San Francisco to Dubai.

Emirates, which has one of the world's youngest airline fleets, will be flying in and out of the Bay Area to the crown jewel of the Middle East three times a week.

The airline's arrival in San Francisco adds an economic boom to the the city and its aiport but the move is not coming without controversy.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday that some people are upset about some of the airlines practices. The airline expects its staff to adhere to a strict code of ethics.

The Wall Street Journal reported that "openly gay male attendants need not apply" for the airline and premarital sex and homosexuality are both illegal in Dubai."

The city of course has a policy that makes it illegal to do business with a company that discriminates but it cannot do anything about Emirates since San Francisco does not have jurisidiction overseas, the Chronicle reported.

But the airline is doing one thing to blend into San Francisco. Emirates is planning to launch the world's first green flight out of San Francisco.

The company worked closely with government agencies in Dubai, Russia, Iceland, Canada and the United States and other countries to plot what was being hailed as the "Emvironment flight," the most environmentally-sophisticated route and trip possible to help save an estimated range of approximately 2,000 gallons of fuel and 30,000 pounds of carbon emissions on the 16-hour direct service.

"After months of planning, Emirates' Emvironment flight is a best-practice trial of how airlines, governments, manufacturers, technology providers and airports can work together to be as eco-efficient as possible," said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline. "The San Francisco inaugural flight will be a dual milestone of commencing services between two great cities and also demonstrating the best our industry can offer in environmental efficiency. We have made a multi-billion-dollar investment in new state-of-the-art eco-efficient aircraft, and the flight will help us to further improve our environmental performance."

The airline used the new ultra eco-efficient Boeing 777-200LR to service the San Francisco to Dubai route as part of the airline's multi-billion dollar investment in economic and environmental efficiencies.

The direct route at San Francisco International Airport created a critical connection between the Bay Area and Dubai, a growing destination for business and tourism.

"Emirates is seeking to reduce the environmental impact of our operations wherever we can and the Emvironment inaugural flight is a perfect example of these ambitions," said Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline. "The development of new technologies, flight operation procedures and advanced air traffic management proves that our industry is making real gains in environmental performance."

To ensure a more fuel-efficient route, the Emvironment flight will utilize the revised routes within Russian airspace -- this special accommodation followed negotiations and was due to the support of the Russian Government.

EK225 flight departed Dubai at 8:55 a.m. on Dec. 15 and land in San Francisco at 1:00 p.m. local time the same day.

The predominant traffic flows across northern Europe are west-east and Emirates, since 2001, has worked closely with the Russian Federal Air Navigation Authority to optimize the structure to flow north-south.

To date, 16 additional segments have been added to allow the flights to pick the best route available on the day dependant on the winds.

The Emvironment flight will cross near the North Pole following a long-term program of tests and negotiations involving various governments and manufacturers. Emirates aided in the process by operating three flights over the Polar region to evaluate the route and operating conditions and ultimately facilitate use of the air space corridor, called Polar Routes.

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