Continental and Emirates to Begin Codeshare

NEW YORK, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/—Air travelers between Dubai and North America will benefit from swift and simple new connecting services offered by a pair of leading airlines beginning next month.
Emirates, the Dubai-based international carrier, and Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) will start codesharing on flights between Dubai and the U.S. via London/Gatwick airport. A new marketing link will also allow travelers on both carriers to enjoy access to one another`s airport lounges, as well as enhanced frequent flyer benefits.
For travel beginning Sept. 15, 2003, Continental will place its CO flight code on Emirates services between Gatwick and Dubai, connecting with Continental flights to and from New York/Newark and Houston airports. Emirates will place its EK flight code on Continental flights to and from New York/Newark and Houston connecting via London/Gatwick with Emirates services to Dubai.
Customers then check in just once, receiving seat assignments and boarding passes to their final destination at the same time, and collecting their bags at the end of their trip.
Emirates and Continental have had a fully reciprocal frequent flyer agreement since August 2000. Members of Continental`s OnePass and Emirates` Skywards frequent flyer programs earn miles on all flights by either airline worldwide and may redeem their miles on selected flights with each other.
Effective September 15, 2003, elite qualification and bonus miles will be awarded to OnePass and Skywards members on codeshare flights (CO*/EK*) operated by the two airlines. Continental BusinessFirst customers traveling between Dubai and the U.S. will have access to Emirates` Business lounge at Dubai International Airport, and Emirates Business Class customers flying between Dubai and the U.S. will have access to Continental`s Presidents Club lounges at London/Gatwick, New York/Newark and Houston.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, Emirates` Executive Vice-President Commercial Operations Worldwide, said this week: “This link will offer customers of both airlines seamless connections between our two countries, helping to boost trade and tourism.
“They will also pave the way for the launch of our own U.S. services from next year, when we begin non-stop flights between Dubai and New York, our first destination in North America,” Mr. Al Ghaith said.
David Grizzle, Continental`s Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, said: “We`re proud to be associated with an internationally acclaimed carrier that is as committed to excellence in customer service and product delivery as we are. Our long-standing relationship with Emirates has proven particularly beneficial to Continental`s customers who have energy- related travel to the Middle East and Indian sub-continent, and the start of codesharing creates additional benefits and opportunities for customers of both airlines.”
Trade links between Dubai and the United States are strong. In 2001 the combined value of Dubai`s exports and re-exports to the U.S. was $151 million, while imports from the U.S. to Dubai were worth $1.56 billion.
About Emirates: Emirates has received some 250 awards for service since its launch in 1985. This year it was voted Passenger Service Airline of the Year and Runner-Up Airline of the Year by readers of U.S. magazine Air Transport World. It was also voted Best Economy and Best Airline to the Middle East by Skytrax Research. Its 53 Boeing and Airbus jets have an average age of just three years, and at this year`s Paris Air Show it signed the largest deal in aviation history, confirming orders for 71 new aircraft worth US$19 billion to take its fleet to 125 planes by 2012. Financially- independent Emirates, one of the world`s five most profitable airlines, serves 68 cities in 48 countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and Asia-Pacific. The Emirates Group also includes Al Maha, Arabian Adventures, Dnata, Emirates Holidays, Emirates SkyCargo, Mercator, Transguard and Galileo.
About Continental: Continental is the world`s seventh-largest airline with more than 2,200 departures a day. 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 a 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 No. 2 on its list of Most Admired Global Airlines. For more company information, visit