Emirates celebrates 15 years service to San Francisco

An Emirates aircraft in San Francisco
Photo Credit: Emirates

Emirates, the world’s largest international airline has marked 15 years of operations to San Francisco.

It remains a highly-popular route in the UAE carrier’s US network, and ranks in the top five amongst points served in its global network in terms of distance flown.

Journey Begins: December 15, 2008

Since its inaugural flight on December 15, 2008, Emirates has soared through the skies, carrying over 3.4 million passengers on a staggering 9,900 flights to and from San Francisco International Airport.

This route has not only been a key player in passenger travel and tourism but has also facilitated the movement of over 44,000 tonnes of cargo, playing a pivotal role in global trade.

Boeing 777-200LR Takes Flight

In its early days, the route operated with a Boeing 777-200LR, earning the title of the “world’s longest green flight.”

This accolade was a testament to Emirates’ commitment to fuel efficiency, saving approximately 2,000 gallons of fuel and reducing carbon emissions by 30,000 pounds on each 16-hour journey.


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These innovative measures have since become integral to Emirates’ eco-friendly operating procedures.

An Emirates Boeing 777 in flight.
Photo Credit: Emirates

Evolution and Expansion: From 777 to A380

Over the years, as travel demand soared, Emirates responded by increasing the frequency to daily flights.

In December 2014, the airline upgraded the aircraft to its flagship A380, boasting increased capacity and signature services.

More recently, the introduction of Premium Economy further enhanced the passenger experience, offering a broader range of choices.

Retrofitted A380

The newly-retrofitted Emirates A380 on the San Francisco route brings a new level of luxury. With seats across four cabin classes, including the newly introduced Premium Economy, passengers are treated to a journey of comfort and sophistication.

The Premium Economy class, with its plush cream leather seats, generous recline, and elevated dining experience, adds a touch of indulgence to the travel experience.

Interior of Premium Economy Emirates cabin.
Photo Credit: Emirates

Beyond San Francisco

San Francisco serves as a gateway to numerous popular destinations, including points in India, Pakistan, Kenya, South Africa, Maldives, Egypt, and, of course, Emirates’ hub city of Dubai.

The city’s strategic location has made it a top feeder market for travellers from Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Jordan, Iran, and Bangladesh.

Cargo and Commerce

Beyond passenger services, Emirates SkyCargo has been a driving force in facilitating global trade.

Over the 15-year period, Emirates flights have transported more than 32,000 tonnes of cargo, playing a crucial role in the export of perishable items, textiles, apparel, and various commodities, thereby contributing to economic development worldwide.

Photo Credit: Emirates

‘Fly Better’ Services

As Emirates celebrates 15 years with San Francisco, its commitment to providing unparalleled services remains unwavering.

Passengers can expect a world-class experience in the sky, complete with regionally inspired multi-course menus, award-winning inflight entertainment, and a vast selection of premium beverages.

Emirates’ strategic partnership with United opens up a world of possibilities for travellers.

Codeshare agreements allow seamless connections beyond San Francisco to popular destinations such as Las Vegas, Portland, Phoenix, and nine points in Mexico, expanding Emirates’ reach across the United States.

Chauffeur Drive and Lounge Access

For First Class and Business Class passengers, the luxury experience begins before takeoff. Chauffeur drive services and access to the Emirates Lounge in San Francisco ensure a smooth and relaxed pre-flight experience.

In Dubai, premium class customers enjoy complimentary Chauffeur Drive services, adding an extra layer of convenience to their journey.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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