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Continental Relocates Senior Executive to UK

Continental Airlines today announced that Jim Summerford, its Vice President International, will relocate from the airline’s Houston headquarters to the United Kingdom to oversee the airline’s continuing expansion of transatlantic service.
Summerford, 44, will be based at the airline’s U.K. head office in Horley, Surrey from June 1 this year.Ê He will assume the title of Vice President Europe & Middle East and have overall management responsibility for the airline’s sales and marketing in 12 countries.Ê
There will be a change in management structure as a result of Summerford’s relocation.Ê Pete Garcia, Continental’s Staff Vice President Latin America, who currently reports to Summerford, will in future report to Dave Hilfman, Vice President Sales & Reservations.Ê Both Summerford and Hilfman report to Jim Compton, Senior Vice President Marketing.
Continental, which currently serves 17 cities in Europe and the Middle East from its New York, Houston and Cleveland hubs, will launch services from New York to both Edinburgh, Scotland and Oslo, Norway in June and is increasing capacity and frequency on several other transatlantic routes.
Ê“This move is a reflection of the growing scope and success of Continental’s transatlantic operations,” said Jim Compton, the airline’s Senior Vice President Marketing. “We’re now the second biggest U.S. carrier in Europe and the Middle East in terms of the number of destinations served.Ê With our current and planned expansion in the region and the plans for Continental to join the SkyTeam alliance later this year, it’s important that we have senior management representation in Europe.”
Ê“This is an exciting move, both for me professionally and for my family,” said Summerford.Ê “Continental’s European and Middle East routes are among its most profitable and there is tremendous potential for future growth.Ê I’m looking forward to leading the next phase of our expansion in the region.”
Summerford has held the position of Vice President International for Continental since March 2003.Ê Prior to that, he held various positions of increasing responsibility within Continental’s finance organisation including Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis.Ê Before joining Continental in 1995, Summerford was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Koll Construction, a $500 million general contractor with offices in the western United States specialising in commercial construction.Ê Summerford received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.Ê He is married with two children.
As of July 2004, Continental will serve 19 cities in 12 countries in Europe and the Middle East, operating a total of 43,923 seats on 196 flights weekly in each direction to and from its U.S. gateway hubs at New York/Newark, Houston and Cleveland, with onward connections to cities throughout the U.S.A., Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific.Ê This represents a capacity increase of 18 percent and a frequency increase of 22 percent over July 2003.
ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ A key factor in Continental’s success as a transatlantic carrier has been its hub at Newark Liberty International Airport - the only major airline hub in the New York City metropolitan area.Ê Located just 16 miles/25 km from downtown Manhattan, Liberty International offers the fastest surface transfer journeys to many parts of the city, including the AirTrain service to New York Penn Station in midtown Manhattan.Ê One-way fares between Liberty International and New York Penn Station are $11.55 on NJ Transit and $23 on Amtrak and journey time is less than 30 minutes.Ê
All Continental transatlantic flights to Liberty International arrive at Terminal C’s Concourse 3, Continental’s Global Gateway, and all Continental transatlantic flights depart from one of Terminal C’s three concourses.Ê Passengers arriving from Europe and the Middle East can use exclusive immigration and customs facilities in Terminal C3 and connect quickly and easily with Continental’s 396 daily services from Liberty International to 170 destinations throughout the Americas and beyond, including 141 served non-stop, in almost all cases without changing terminals.
At George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, its largest and busiest hub, Continental recently opened the final phase of the new 23-gate Terminal. The facility, which will eventually host all of Continental’s international service from Houston, features a spacious, modern design and conveniences for travellers. With the full operation of Terminal E, Continental now has access to 100 gates at Bush Intercontinental for its schedule of 538 daily departures.Ê When an adjoining Federal Inspection Station (customs and immigration) opens in early 2005, Continental will be able to handle all international arrivals at Terminal E.Ê
ÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ Continental’s Houston operations comprise the fourth largest airline hub in America based on annual passenger enplanements, and Bush Intercontinental has become a key connection point for international travel to Europe, Latin America and the Pacific.Ê Continental operates non-stop services to Houston from three European airports: London/Gatwick, Paris/CDG and Amsterdam.