NEW YORK and LISBON, Portugal, May 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/—Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) and TAP Air Portugal today signed a cooperative marketing agreement that includes codesharing on selected flights, reciprocal frequent flyer program participation and reciprocal airport lounge access.
Subject to government approval, TAP and Continental will start codesharing in September 2003. Continental will codeshare on TAP-operated flights between Lisbon and up to 18 cities in Europe and Africa, including the Portuguese destinations of Faro, Funchal and Oporto and African destinations such as Maputo, Mozambique and Sal, Cape Verde Islands. TAP will codeshare on Continental-operated flights between Continental`s New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and 51 cities in the U.S. and Canada. These flights will display the designator codes of both Continental (CO) and TAP (TP) and will be marketed by both carriers.
Effective with the commencement of codesharing, members of Continental`s frequent flyer program, OnePass, will be able to earn and redeem miles on TAP`s European, African and Central and South American flights and members of TAP`s frequent flyer program, Navigator, will be able to earn and redeem rewards on Continental`s U.S., Canadian, Latin American and Asian flights.
Continental and TAP have also agreed to provide their passengers with access to each other`s airport lounges. Continental`s BusinessFirst customers and Presidents Club members will have access to TAP`s Navigator Lounge at Lisbon, while TAP`s Navigator Class customers and Navigator FFP members will have access to Continental`s Presidents Club lounges at New York/Newark.
“This new partnership is straight in line with TAP Air Portugal`s principle of consistently providing additional benefits to our customers,” said Manoel Torres, TAP Air Portugal`s Senior Vice President - Airlines. “Through Continental`s recognized superior service we will be able to offer a broad scope of destinations within North America. We are very proud to have Continental as our partner.”
“We are tremendously enthusiastic about signing this agreement with TAP Air Portugal,” said David Grizzle, Continental`s Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. “We continuously look for alliance partners who have unique route networks that provide new benefits to Continental customers, and we look forward to working with TAP to deliver these benefits to our respective customers.”
TAP Air Portugal is the leading Portuguese airline, in operation worldwide for over 58 years. The company currently flies to over 60 destinations in Europe, Africa and North, Central and South America, where it stands as the best European carrier serving Brazil. With its hub in Lisbon and equipped with a modern and recently renewed fleet of all-Airbus aircraft, TAP carried 5.6 million passengers last year in its systemwide network, which represents a 3.3% increase over the year 2001, and posted a 69% seat load factor. For further information on the company, visit www.tap-airportugal.pt .
TAP currently operates a daily non-stop service with Airbus A310 or A340 aircraft between Lisbon and New York/Newark, increasing the operation to nine frequencies a week (two daily flights on Thursdays and Fridays) during the peak Summer period (from July to September).
Continental Airlines is the world`s seventh-largest airline and has more than 2,200 daily departures. With 130 domestic and 95 international destinations, Continental has the broadest global route network of any U.S. airline, including extensive service throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and carries approximately 41 million passengers per year on the newest jet fleet among major U.S. airlines. With 48,000 employees, Continental is one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America. In 2003, Fortune ranked Continental highest among major U.S. carriers in the quality of its service and products, and No. 2 on its list of Most Admired Global Airlines. For more company information, visit continental.com.
In Europe and the Middle East, Continental serves 17 cities in 11 countries, operating up to 168 departures weekly to its U.S. gateway hubs at New York/Newark, Houston and Cleveland, with onward connections to cities throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. Continental`s BusinessFirst won the Best Executive/Business Class award at the OAG Airline of the Year Awards 2003. Continental`s alliance carriers in Europe include Air Europa, FlyBE (British European), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Continental, which started operations in Portugal in 1997, operates a daily Boeing 757 non-stop service between Lisbon and New York/Newark.