Continental Airlines today
announced that it has received tentative approval from the U.S. Department
of Transportation (DOT) to initiate service to Beijing in the People’s
Republic of China from its hub at New York/Newark Liberty International
Airport. A date for the daily nonstop flight to Beijing will be announced once
final approval is granted. Continental will be the only U.S. flag carrier
linking the People’s Republic of China with New York, one of the largest
origin-and-destination points in the United States for China travel. The
flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-200ER with 283-seats, 48 in
BusinessFirst and 235 in coach.
“We commend the Department of Transportation for opening the door to new
competition between the U.S. and China,” said Larry Kellner, chairman and
CEO of Continental Airlines. “Business travelers will appreciate how easy
and convenient it is to use Continental to access Beijing’s thriving
network of high-tech industries and manufacturing plants.”
Kellner thanked his coworkers, elected officials and thousands of
concerned citizens and corporations for their support in securing service
to Beijing. Nearly 13,000 Continental employees sent letters to the
Department of Transportation, Congress and state and local officials
In March 2001, Continental launched daily nonstop service from New
York/Newark to Hong Kong.
The 13-hour flight (CO 89) will depart Liberty, subject to government
approval, at noon, arriving in Beijing at 1:50 p.m. the next day. The
return flight (CO 88) will leave the People’s Republic of China at 3:50
p.m., arriving in the United States 13 hrs. 25 minutes later at 5:15 p.m.
With a population of 1.3 billion, the People’s Republic of China is the
largest country in the world.
Beijing is the nation’s capital—home to more than 12.5 million people.
Although a largely industrial city comprised of textile mills, steel
factories, and chemical and manufacturing plants, a significant portion of
Beijing’s economy revolves around the high-technology sector. As the
country’s economic and political center, Beijing is a crucial
transportation hub for the rest of China.