Emirates Airline partnered with LCI to promote the launch of the world’s first nonstop service between San Francisco and Dubai, one of the hottest new destinations for business and leisure travelers.
LCI worked with Emirates to create a high-profile event at San Francisco International Airport that was positioned as an exclusive opportunity for media to fly on Emirates’ Airbus A380 – the ‘rock star’ of modern aircraft. This event was held months in advance of the launch of service to promote advance reservations. A two-hour demo flight allowed journalists and VIPs to experience Emirates’ luxury product and world-class service in the air. To create multiple photo opportunities, LCI designated a ‘viewing deck’ for media to shoot the arrival of the A380 aircraft and celebratory water cannon ceremony. LCI also hosted a press conference for Emirates executives and San Francisco dignitaries.
To create national – and international – news value around the San Francisco service launch, LCI promoted the inaugural flight from Dubai to San Francisco as ‘the world’s longest green flight.’ Emirates worked with government agencies in Dubai, Russia, Iceland, Canada, the United States and other countries to plot the most environmentally-sophisticated trip possible to help save an estimated 2,000 gallons of fuel and 30,000 pounds of carbon emissions on the 16-hour direct service. National and local aviation and environment media witnessed the arrival of ‘the world’s longest green flight’ at San Francisco International Airport. A press conference with His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, offered media a rare opportunity to discuss Emirates’ green initiatives and the economic impact of the new San Francisco-Dubai route with the head of the airline. LCI also leveraged Emirates’ San Francisco launch gala – and celebrity performers Sheryl Crow and Hilary Swank – to drive additional buzz and coverage for Emirates and leveraged its relationship with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office to help secure attendance by Mayor Gavin Newsom at Emirates’ launch events.
LCI landed front page stories on Emirates in the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News. The A380 event generated a total of 18 television and radio news segments on the four TV network affiliate stations; major independent player, KRON-TV; and KCBS-AM radio. WIRED.com, San Francisco Examiner, Contra Costa Times and PR Week published feature stories on Emirates, among other publications. Forty-two journalists toured the aircraft or participated in the demo flight, helping to build productive relationships for Emirates in advance of the San Francisco service launch.