New Emirates Boeing scores polar first<!-- -->


The latest Boeing 777-300 to join Emirates' fleet arrived in Dubai last month after flying 13,000km non-stop from Boeing's Everett Field on the US West Coast near Seattle.

The aircraft, registered as A6-EMS, reached a height of 41,000 ft, flying at up to 900 km an hour, and is the larger version of Boeing's fast-selling twinjet.

Emirates has six of these in service, and nine of the smaller 777-200s. The 777's maiden voyage over the North Pole achieved a double first - Emirates' first flight from the US West Coast to Dubai, and the first-ever 777-300 to take the Polar route.

It was commanded by Captain Ahmed Al Shamsi, Emirates' manager flight technical projects, assisted by Captains Fali Vajifdar, Graeme Mowbray and Peter Pont, the four-men "heavy crew" needed for ultra long-range missions like Dubai-Los Angeles.

Emirates will soon serve this route with very long-range Airbus A340-500s. The 14-hour and 10-minute flight from Boeing's Paine Field, Seattle, took off north via Canada to the Pole, then down over Greenland, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey and Iran for a perfect landing in Dubai.

The mission was not merely another routine delivery, but a dress rehearsal for the launch of services to and from North America.

Flights via the Arctic offer a 'short cut' through little-used airspace, saving fuel, cutting flying times and helping Emirates transform itself into a global airline.

Capt Al Shamsi said: "This delivery allowed us a first-hand look at many technical aspects of Polar missions, for example fuel freezing temperatures and en route diversion airports.

"We also used it to check out our communications systems and aircraft instruments in Arctic latitudes."