Continental pilots back Shanghai bid

Continental Airlines has received the endorsement of its pilots’ union, a unit of the Air Line Pilots’ Association International (ALPA), in its efforts to provide service between New York/Newark and Shanghai. Citing the strong support of Continental Airlines’ pilots, union leader Captain Dave Earnest today urged the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve Continental’s application for service linking the financial and commercial capitals of New York/Newark and Shanghai.

“Winning the route to the large and growing Chinese market would help to continue the ongoing growth that began two years ago at Continental,” Captain Earnest said. “We made a huge investment in this enterprise back in March 2005, and it is gratifying to see the airline carrying through on its promise to use that investment to provide future growth.

“Continental’s agreement with its pilots already provides for these flights, and the pilots are ready, willing and more than able to operate Shanghai service,” Captain Earnest added. “If the Department of Transportation makes the right decision, Continental pilots will be flying to Shanghai in 2007.”

ALPA represents Continental’s 4,600 pilots.

Continental proposes to serve the largest market without current nonstop service between the U.S. and China, New York/Newark-Shanghai. New York/Newark-Shanghai is the only proposal on the table that will serve the U.S.’ largest metropolitan area and the second largest Asian and Chinese populations in the country. The Continental proposal will bring first-time daily, nonstop service to the U.S. east coast from Shanghai and will drive more trade and commerce for the entire U.S. than any other proposal under consideration.