Emirates to Make World's Longest Green Flight

On December 15th, Emirates Airline, with one of the world's youngest fleets, will trial a new environmental program to execute the longest green journey. The program, to be analyzed and reviewed on the airline's inaugural flight from Dubai to San Francisco, will represent the world's first cross-polar green flight.

Emirates worked closely with government agencies in Dubai, Russia, Iceland, Canada and the United States and other countries to plot what is appropriately 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.

The inaugural green flight will demonstrate multiple fuel and emission-saving measures including:

  • The new 777-200LR will be specially washed beforehand to minimize drag.
  • The aircraft will use electrical power on the ground in Dubai rather than running its auxiliary power unit.
  • Dubai Air Traffic Control will give the aircraft priority clearance for both taxiing and departure.
  • A pre-planned priority departure route out of Dubai will provide an unimpeded climb through to cruise altitude, allowing the aircraft to reach its optimum cruise altitude as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • Recent Emirates negotiations with the Russian Government will allow for a preferred route over Russian and Canadian airspace for the most efficient path, taking into account prevailing winds and the aircraft's weight.
  • Real time updates of current weather and wind conditions will allow the flight crew to modify their flight path on route.
  • The aircraft will track close to the North Pole following extensive work by Emirates and aircraft manufacturers to open this new routing.
  • Flexible routings will be pursued over Canadian airspace.
  • The FAA and San Francisco Air Traffic Control will seek to offer optimal routings for arrival and if possible a continuous descent approach to minimize fuel burn.
  • The aircraft will use minimal thrust on landing and a single-engine taxi to its gate.
  • All on-board glass, newspapers, aluminium and paper will be collected for recycling.

"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 and Group.

"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 will use the new ultra eco-efficient Boeing 777-200LR to service the San Francisco-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 will create 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."

He added: "With the introduction of our new 777 family, our 58 ultra-efficient A380s and new A350-XWBs aircraft, Emirates will operate the world's most efficient fleet of wide-bodied aircraft."

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. EK225flight will depart Dubai at 8:55 a.m. on December 15th 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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