06/03/2011

A new aircraft for Dubai-Geneva

The first regular flight between Dubai and Geneva, operated by Emirates airline, used a variant of the Boeing 777 aircraft which had never been seen in Geneva.


Wednesday, June 1, was a day when the spotters at Geneva could photograph a version of the Boeing 777 never before seen in Geneva. The airline Emirates is using a Boeing 777-21H(LR) for its new daily flight from Dubai to Geneva and back, and one of these spotters (Jean-Luc) snapped the aircraft's arrival, including its celebratory dousing by the airport fire engines.

In the name 777-21H(LR), the "LR" stands for "Longer Range". According to Wikipedia, this type of aircraft, whose name is shortened to 777-200LR, holds the world record for the longest nonstop flight by a commercial airliner, having flown 11,664 from Hong Kong to London on November 9/10 2005. This was approximately 100 years after the first official distance record flight of the Wright brothers and 43 years after the previous record, set by a B52 bomber.

The Geneva management had actually hoped that the first Dubai-Geneva service would take place back in December 2005, but this was then postponed. However, as was said then, in an airport press release

Geneva International Airport is still optimistic therefore as to the arrival of Emirates in Geneva in the near future

Now that this near future has arrived, Emirates also included on its web site an article dedicated to this new flight and listing the various personalities aboard it or welcoming it to Geneva. There was also a gala dinner for 400 invitees on the evening that it arrived.

There are other aircraft of the Boeing 777-200 range which come here to Geneva. The most frequent of these are ones used by Continental Airlines for the daily flights to and from Newark, New Jersey.

One oddity is a Boeing 777-24Q, registered with the US identifier N777AS but operated by a slightly mysterious company called Mid East Jet. I have not found its web site, but Wikipedia identifies it as a charter airline based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The strange thing about it is that on the two occasions that it has come to Geneva this year, it has emitted the call sign "00000000" and not been registered on the airport arrivals/departures. The airframes.org web site, which identifies almost all aircraft, includes for N777AS the curious remark

FSB, based Jeddah SA, private VIP flights, seen HAM with fake reg D-ABBA 21.02.05 (see 737ng 30570), presum to cover an unclosed new regi, of course didn't fly as such, later again seen as N777AS

Clearly, the passengers wished to remain incognito!

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