Continental Airlines Announces Mexico Expansion

Continental Airlines today announced a major expansion of its Mexico
service, adding four new Mexican destinations to the 23 it currently
serves from Houston, pending government approval.
Continental Express will begin daily nonstop service from George Bush
Intercontinental Airport in Houston to Monclova (April 4), Puebla (May 2),
Oaxaca (June 10), and Toluca (June 10), bringing the number of Mexican
destinations served by the airline to 27.

“Continental already offers service to more destinations in Mexico than
any other U.S. airline,” said Jim Summerford, international vice president
for Continental Airlines. “Our new daily nonstop service to these Mexican
destinations is a clear sign of Continental’s commitment to providing
travelers with convenient access to Mexico’s business and leisure markets,
a testament to Houston’s standing as a major international gateway, and a
demonstration of the important commercial and cultural links between Texas
and Mexico.”

Continental Express will utilize the 50-passenger Embraer regional jet on
its daily nonstop service on each of the new routes except to Monclova,
where the 37-seat regional jet will be used. The RJs feature jet-bridge
loading, a fully equipped galley, a spacious lavatory, and a comfortable
interior with only window and aisle seating.

Monclova, a business and industrial center in northern Mexico, is the
location of many U.S. and Japanese corporations. Passengers traveling to
Monclova now must fly into Monterrey and then drive more than two hours to
their destination. Puebla, located in east central Mexico, is the site of
the famous “Cinco de Mayo” battle, in which Mexican troops defeated the
French forces in 1862. A popular tourist destination famous for the
colored tiles that decorate its buildings and churches, the city also is
an important agricultural, commercial, and manufacturing center, with
cotton mills, an automobile factory, onyx quarries, and pottery
industries. Oaxaca, located in the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains in
southern Mexico, is a tourist center known for its colonial church
architecture, handcrafted gold and silver filigree, pottery, and textiles.
Important archeological sites including Monte Alban and Mitla are located
nearby. Toluca, capital of Mexico state in central Mexico, increasingly is
becoming industrialized, with food processing and beverage plants, as well
as flour, cotton, and woolen mills. The city also is known for its
traditional handicrafts.

Latin America plays a major role in Continental’s route system, comprising
33.4 percent of its international route network. Continental is the
second- largest U.S. airline into Latin America and the Caribbean, with
service to 56 destinations in 24 countries.


In December 2003, Continental signed a 10-year alliance agreement with
Aeromexico that includes codeshare flights, interline electronic
ticketing, reciprocal OnePass and Club Premier frequent flyer benefits,
and reciprocal Presidents Club and Salon Premier membership benefits with
the Mexican carrier.