Continental Airlines has launched non-stop flights from London’s Heathrow Airport to both its New York and Houston hubs, made possible by the new Open Skies agreement between the United States and the European Union.
Until now, the airline has been prevented from operating to Heathrow by the restrictive U.S.-U.K. bilateral air services agreement.
Continental’s flight CO28 from its New York hub, Newark Liberty International Airport, was the first aircraft of the new-entrant carriers to arrive at Heathrow on March 30, at 7:30 a.m.
Continental will operate four daily departures from Heathrow - two to New York Liberty and two to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport - the largest operation of any of the new-entrant airlines at Heathrow. This was the largest single-day international service expansion in the company’s history.
“Continental has waited a long time to gain access to Heathrow and this is a great day for us, as well as for all trans-Atlantic travellers,” said Larry Kellner, Continental’s Chairman and CEO. “We can now provide our customers with what they have requested - the opportunity to fly to both of London’s main airports with their preferred airline.”
In addition to the Heathrow flights, the airline will continue to offer non-stop flights from London/Gatwick to New York (twice daily), Houston (daily) and Cleveland (daily, seasonal). Continental has served Gatwick Airport since 1985.