Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) tomorrow
takes delivery of its first Boeing 737-900 aircraft among 36 new Boeing jets
it is receiving this year. The new aircraft are part of the company`s ongoing
fleet modernization program that is increasing efficiency for the airline as
it moves toward just three aircraft types: 777, 767/757 and 737.
The new 737-900, with 149 coach and 18 first class seats, is the largest
of all 737 models and will serve various Continental routes, starting with
flights from Houston to Cozumel, Cancun, New Orleans, Denver, Chicago/O`Hare,
Orlando and Dallas/Fort Worth.
Boeing will display one of Continental`s pre-delivery 737-900s at the
Paris Air Show in June.
With more than 225 737s at the core of its domestic fleet, Continental is
gaining cost efficiencies from reduced fuel consumption and spare parts
Piloting the delivery flight of Continental`s first 737-900 from Seattle
to Houston will be Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer C.D.
McLean. On board will be Chairman and CEO Gordon Bethune and 50 airline
employees, with their guests, who were selected from all divisions of the
company to participate in the delivery flight.
The new 737-900 is Continental`s first 737 to feature a fourth lavatory,
located mid-cabin, for passenger convenience. This amenity is specified by
Continental for all future 737-800 and -900 deliveries, and the airline will
retrofit its existing fleet of 59 737-800s to include a fourth lav.
Every new aircraft Continental receives from Boeing also includes expanded
overhead storage bins that hold more carry-ons and store rolling suitcases
more efficiently, side-by-side instead of end-to-end.
In total, during 2001, Continental will acquire 15 new 737-800s and 10 new
737-900s, in addition to 757s and 767s.
Continental and Continental Express have the youngest jet fleet among
major network U.S. airlines with an average fleet age of just 6.8 years.
Continental Airlines is the fifth largest airline in the U.S., offering
more than 2,200 departures daily to 133 domestic and 92 international
destinations. Operating hubs in Newark, Houston, Cleveland and Guam,
Continental (http://www.continental.com) serves more international cities than any
other U.S. carrier, including extensive service throughout the Americas,
Europe and Asia.
Continental was named the 2001 Airline of the Year by Air Transport World,
as well as the 1996 Airline of the Year, making it the only carrier to receive
this honor twice in five years. Continental is in the top quarter of Fortune
magazine`s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America,” and is ranked the
nation`s No. 1 airline in customer satisfaction for long and short-haul
flights by Frequent Flyer Magazine and J.D. Power and Associates. Continental
has received numerous awards for its BusinessFirst premium cabin (Conde Nast
Traveler, OAG, Entrepreneur and SmartMoney magazines), OnePass frequent flyer
program (InsideFlyer`s Freddie Awards) and overall operations and management