The Emirates airline flight that left Guarulhos International Airport, in São Paulo, on the way to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, in the early hours of Tuesday, October 2, had two Brazilians in command.
Pilots Nicolau Moraes Barros and Marcelo Taborda Peixoto are responsible for flying the Boeing 777-200 LR, its cargo and passengers from São Paulo to Dubai. The co-pilots are also two Brazilians: Marcelo Brasil Dias and Kalina Comenha.
This was the maiden flight of the São Paulo-Dubai route, the first direct line connecting Brazil and the Middle East, and Emirates, despite being headquartered in the Emirates, made sure of including Brazilians in the operation.
Apart from the four pilots, another five Brazilians were included in the crew of the aircraft that left São Paulo for Dubai. The flight that arrived in São Paulo, coming from Dubai, in the end of the afternoon yesterday, the first from Dubai to São Paulo, also included Brazilians in the crew.
Emirates currently has 69 Brazilian pilots in employ, among almost 2,000 pilots, and intends to increase the total to 74 by the end of the year. This information was disclosed by pilots Barros and Peixoto, in a press conference at the Emirates offices, in São Paulo. Apart from the large number of pilots there are also, according to him, 250 Brazilian stewards in the Emirates team.
Around 15 hours before boarding to the Emirates, commander Barros seemed thrilled to be in charge of one of the first flights on the route. The pilot stated that when he started his career, in the 1980s, in TAM airline, he did not imagine that he would reach that position.
"In the pilot market, Emirates is currently the top of the line. And I was allowed to collaborate in this gigantic project. It is very good to be part of this," stated Barros, referring to the planning of the route.
Barros was a pilot at TAM for 17 years and has been flying for Emirates for three and a half years. He has 15,000 hours of flying experience and has been a commander for 14 years. He left TAM at the height of his career, believing in his future at Emirates.
Commander Peixoto arrived at Emirates from Varig, where he worked for 18 years. He has been in the airline from the Emirates for little over one year. Both Peixoto and Barros live in Dubai, where they moved with their families. To move to the Arab country, according to them, they received all necessary assistance from the company.
The airline, they say, took charge of all aspects like providing housing and its maintenance. Barros explains that he received the key to his 350-square-meter house in Dubai at the airport, and when he arrived he was surprised with the small details organized by Emirates, including a made bed and full refrigerator.
"Emirates not only covers the cost, but also manages the house," explained Peixoto.
According to the pilots, the São Paulo-Dubai flight will take 14 hours and 10 minutes. It will leave São Paulo, crossing the air space of Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo (all in southeastern Brazil).
From Espírito Santo, the aircraft will fly to the Western coast of Africa, cross Accra, in Ghana, Lagos, in Nigeria, and from there, to Saudi Arabia, where it will enter the Middle East and reach Dubai.
The time difference between Dubai and São Paulo is seven hours. The flight has a double crew – and, therefore, also two commanders – due to the duration, larger than conventional flights. The longest flight operated by Emirates is between Dubai and Sydney, in Australia, 16 hours long.