Emirates Celebrates 15 Years of Services to San Francisco

PUBLISHED December 20, 2023

Emirates, the world’s largest international airline and facilitator of vital trade links, is proud to announce that it has completed 15 years of operations to San Francisco, a highly-popular route in its US network and one that ranks in the top five amongst points served in its global network in terms of distance flown.

Since the airline began services to San Francisco International Airport on December 15, 2008, Emirates has carried over 3.4 million passengers on over 9,900 flights on the route. In addition to supporting passenger travel and tourism, it has also uplifted in excess of 44,000 tonnes of cargo, facilitating trade through the export and import of commodities.

When the route was launched a decade and a half ago, operated by a Boeing 777-200LR, the inaugural service was named the “world’s longest green flight” for its fuel-saving efficiencies achieved through cross-border coordination with aviation stakeholders along its 16-hour flight path. The new operational efficiencies tested on the new service at the time helped save an estimated 2,000 gallons of fuel and 30,000 pounds of carbon emissions on the flight.

Many of the fuel and emission-saving measures tested on the service have since been integrated into Emirates’ operating procedures in its efforts to reduce emissions. These include washing its aircraft using its ‘drywash’ technique to minimise drag while reducing water consumption, utilising electrical power on the ground in Dubai rather than running its auxiliary power unit and applying minimal thrust on landing and using single-engine taxi to its gate. Consumable items onboard are also collected for recycling after each flight arrives in Dubai.

The service to San Francisco was initially operated with a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft and frequency was later increased to daily to meet travel demand on the route over the years. In December 2014, the aircraft was upgraded to its flagship A380 aircraft, providing a significant increase in capacity on the busy route as well as its much-loved signature services. Earlier this year, Premium Economy was launched on the daily flights, to offer customers more choice. The double-decker A380 aircraft in a four-class configuration is capable of carrying up to 484 passengers and 15 tonnes of cargo in the bellyhold.

The newly-retrofitted Emirates A380 operating the route features seats in four cabin classes including Premium Economy seats featuring 56 plush cream leather seats. The new cabin class provides seats with a generous recline, more legroom, and an elevated dining experience, amongst other thoughtful and luxurious touches that offer its customers more comfort and added-value amenities.

Some of the most popular destinations and points of origin relevant to San Francisco include all points in India, Pakistan, as well as points in Kenya, South Africa, Maldives, Egypt, in addition to Emirates’ hub city of Dubai. Top feeder markets for San Francisco include travellers from the same points in addition to points of origin in Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Jordan, Iran, and Bangladesh.

Emirates caters to a broad range of traveller segments, from leisure and corporate travellers to students pursuing higher education abroad.

Facilitating global trade

The airline continues to support local industries and businesses by uplifting cargo from San Francisco to the rest of its global network. With its vast cargo network and state-of-the-art facilities, Emirates SkyCargo has been instrumental in enabling seamless transportation of goods, promoting export opportunities, and stimulating economic development in the countries it operates to.

Emirates’ flights have uplifted more than 32,000 tonnes of cargo out of San Francisco, with commodities exported ranging from perishable items such as fresh berries to wine to computer network equipment. Top commodities frequently imported into San Francisco include textile and apparel, leather goods, vehicle and ship parts, and perishable items totalling more than 12,000 tonnes over the 15-year period. 

‘Fly Better’ Services to San Francisco

Emirates remains dedicated to providing the ‘City by the Bay’ with its world-class services, comfort, and connectivity. As the airline marks this significant milestone, it remains committed to the city, its people, and to facilitating trade.

Travellers flying with Emirates can enjoy the best experience in the sky with an unmatched culinary experience, thanks to regionally inspired multi-course menus developed by a team of award-winning chefs and complemented by a wide selection of premium beverages. Customers can sit back and relax with more than 6,500 channels of carefully curated global entertainment content featuring movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, games, audiobooks and more with ice, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system.

In addition to this, the airline’s codeshare partnership with United allows Emirates’ customers to fly beyond United’s three hubs of San Francisco, Chicago and Houston, to an expansive network of US cities, including popular destinations such as Las Vegas, Portland and Phoenix, as well as nine points in Mexico.    

First Class and Business Class passengers can enjoy chauffeur drive services before their flights in San Francisco while also having access to the Emirates Lounge to relax and unwind before flights. Select Skywards members are also eligible to benefit from lounge access before flights. In Dubai, complimentary Chauffeur Drive service to and from the airport are available to its premium class customers who can also relax or catch up on work in one of its lounge facilities at Dubai International airport.


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