HOUSTON, June 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/—Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (NYSE: KLM; AEX: KLM) today announced that they have extended the duration and expanded the scope of the cooperative marketing agreement they initiated in 2001. The agreement, which includes codesharing and reciprocal frequent flyer program participation and airport lounge access, will now run until 2010 and will include codesharing to additional destinations.
The renewed agreement, which continues to incorporate the two carriers` joint partner Northwest Airlines, sees Continental and KLM continuing to codeshare on flights beyond their hubs in Houston, New York/Newark and Amsterdam to a wide range of destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (on KLM flights) and in the United States (on Continental flights).
Subject to government approval, Continental will place its code (CO*) on KLM flights beyond Amsterdam to an additional 22 destinations, bringing the total number of Continental codeshare destinations on KLM to 64. The additional Continental codeshare destinations include Casablanca, Istanbul, Lagos, Prague and the following United Kingdom destinations: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Humberside, Leeds/Bradford, London City, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich and Teesside.
“Both airlines have benefited greatly from our cooperation to date,” said David Grizzle, Continental`s Senior Vice President for Corporate Development. “This long-term agreement builds on that success and confirms that KLM is Continental`s primary European partner.”
Continental, KLM and Northwest intend to jointly improve and extend connections for their passengers at their hubs and gateways.
The existing agreement between Continental and KLM offers major benefits to both carriers` customers, particularly their frequent flyers. Members of the two airlines` frequent flyer programs can earn and redeem miles on all flights operated by the other carrier. The carriers` business class passengers and lounge club members have access to the other airline`s lounges at New York/Newark, Houston Bush Intercontinental and Amsterdam/Schiphol.
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.