HOUSTON, April 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today announced that Jim Summerford, 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. 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.
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.
"This move is a reflection of the growing scope and success of Continental's transatlantic operations," said Jim Compton, 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. 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."
"This is an exciting move, both for me professionally and for my family," said Summerford. "Continental's European and Middle East routes are among its most profitable and there is tremendous potential for future growth. 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. Prior to that, he held various positions of increasing responsibility within Continental's finance organisation including Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis. 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. Summerford received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara. 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., Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific. This represents a capacity increase of 18 percent and a frequency increase of 22 percent over July 2003.
SOURCE Continental Airlines