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Continental Finalizes Argentina Route Case

Continental Airlines today announced that it has submitted final information to the U.S. Department of Transportation to support its application to offer daily New York/Newark-Houston-Buenos Aires service. Continental is the only applicant in the route case to open an entirely new network for U.S.-Argentina service, and two new global gateways that will provide significant consumer benefits and competition to existing services offered by United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Aerolineas Argentinas.
Delta, the only other applicant in the proceeding, proposes to offer duplicative service between New York/JFK and Buenos Aires, which is currently offered by both American and Aerolineas Argentinas. In addition, Delta already serves Buenos Aires from New York via connections at its Atlanta hub, where the carrier offers nonstop Atlanta-Buenos Aires service.

Continental’s Houston hub will provide the only significant competition for American’s Dallas/Ft. Worth-Buenos Aires service and first time competition from a gateway west of the Mississippi River, another significant benefit for consumers.

Continental applied for permission to launch service to Buenos Aires in time for the 2005/2006 winter travel season. The service would utilize Boeing 767-200ER aircraft and fill a critical gap in Continental’s Latin American route network, becoming the 57th Latin American/Caribbean destination served from Houston and the 38th such destination served from New York/Newark.

“I’d like to thank the thousands of Continental employees who supported this route application with letters to the DOT,” said Continental’s Chairman and CEO Larry Kellner. “Joining them were members of the Texas and New Jersey delegations, the Governors of Texas and Ohio, and the acting Governor of New Jersey. Continental thanks all of these individuals, as well as the mayors of Houston, Newark and other communities with connecting air service provided by Continental who also supported our application. We also thank state and local legislators and the hundreds of corporate and travel agency partners that supported the route case filings.”