Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL)
tomorrow will launch the first-ever nonstop air service between New York and
Hong Kong, creating a direct link between two of the world`s most vibrant
cities and cutting the current travel time by more than two hours.
Beginning March 1, Continental will offer a daily flight to Hong Kong in
the People`s Republic of China with a Boeing 777 departing from Newark
International Airport and utilizing a unique new route over the North Pole,
Russia and China.
At 7,337 nautical miles, Continental`s flight is the longest operated by
any U.S. airline and is the longest scheduled non-stop flight ever flown out
of New York. Flying time from New York is approximately 15-1/2 hours, shaving
a minimum of two hours off of all other airline flights, which make at least
one stop en route.
“Once again, we are able to offer our customers something no other airline
can: direct service out of the New York area`s best airport to one of the
world`s greatest cities,” said Greg Brenneman, Continental`s president and
chief operating officer, who will officiate at inaugural ceremonies at 10 a.m.
on Thurs., March 1.
Passengers arriving in Hong Kong from New York on the inaugural flight,
and those departing Hong Kong for New York on March 3, will be met by
Continental Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gordon Bethune,
currently in Hong Kong for pre-inaugural meetings with government and civic
Other airline officials, as well as federal aviation representatives from
several countries, including Russia, China and the United States, will be
aboard the flight from New York to Hong Kong International Airport. The
historic flights have required enormous preparation, including negotiations
with and several visits to Russia and China to secure use of their airspace.
Continental has invested heavily in this new route. In December 2000, the
airline opened a new Hong Kong sales and reservations office, hired Chinese-
speaking flight attendants and launched a full-scale marketing and advertising
campaign. The company also took out full-page newspaper ads to tout its low
introductory fares. In addition, Continental added authentic Chinese dishes
to its in-flight menus.
The return flight from Hong Kong to Newark International Airport begins
Saturday, March 3. That flight has a scheduled time en route of 15 hours and
At the Newark hub, connections are available to and from points throughout
the eastern U.S.
New York`s Hometown Airline:
Continental`s strategic location in New York gives it a huge advantage
over its competitors in the market place. As the only major airline operating
a hub in the New York area, passengers from Asia can connect quickly and
easily to as many as 367 daily flights to 115 destinations worldwide. Its
hub, based at Newark International Airport (which is closer to mid-town
Manhattan than John F. Kennedy Airport), is the leading New York area airport,
handling 33.7 million passengers annually.
In addition to its daily service to New York, Continental also operates
three flights a week between Hong Kong and Guam with a B-737-800 aircraft.
Award-Winning Business Class Service
Continental`s Boeing 777-200 has a two-class configuration that carries
283 passengers, 48 in BusinessFirst and 235 in coach. The airline has won
numerous awards for its BusinessFirst cabin, which features extra-wide
electronic sleeper seats with 55-inch pitch/140-cm pitch, adjustable winged
headrests, large overhead bins, satellite telephones, and laptop computer
power ports. Every seat in the B-777, including coach, is equipped with its
own personal video screen. Other BusinessFirst amenities include gourmet
menus with top rated wines and champagnes and fresh cappuccino or espresso.
Continental Airlines is the fifth largest airline in the U.S., offering more
than 2,200 departures daily to 136 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
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