Continental Airlines Aims to Start New York/Newark-Shanghai Flights in 2007
Thursday September 7, 11:44 am ET
YORK, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE
: CAL - News) today said that its application to serve the largest U.S.-China market without nonstop service -- New York/Newark-Shanghai -- should be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation because the airline has made the best case for the route award.
The New York/Newark-Shanghai market is nearly five times larger than the Dallas/Fort Worth-Beijing market, which American proposes to serve. The New York/Newark-Shanghai market is nearly as large as the combined Washington, D.C.-Beijing and Detroit-Shanghai markets combined. The two airlines currently dominating U.S.-China air travel, United and Northwest, propose to serve these routes.
Continental's proposed flight from Newark Liberty International Airport would conveniently link metropolitan New York City with China's center for finance and trade.
The show of support the airline is receiving from all interested parties has been impressive. Continental's application is being endorsed by area residents, airline passengers across the U.S., the airline's corporate and agency partners, government supporters, the airline's employees and loyal OnePass members.
At a news conference in Lower Manhattan's Chinatown, Continental asked its stakeholders to continue to show support for its route application to the DOT. Those who wish to endorse Continental's planned flight to Shanghai can do so easily via a special page on continental.com -- look for the "Support our Shanghai bid" link on the home page.
Continental's proposal should be selected by DOT for many additional reasons:
* There are no nonstop flights to Shanghai -- China's largest city --
from anywhere in the Northeast despite the large Northeast-China
* The New York/New Jersey area has a far larger population of Chinese-
Americans than any of the other cities seeking a new China route.
* Continental's route application has already received the endorsement
of numerous supporters, including:
- Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
- The New Jersey Regional Business Partnership
- New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine
- The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
- Many influential leaders in the New York/New Jersey Chinese
community, such as Wellington Chen, Executive Director Chinatown
Partnership Local Development Corporation and John Leo of the Lower
Manhattan Development Corporation
- Many communities across the country, ranging all the way from
Omaha, Neb. to Durham, N.C.
"The New York metro area has extremely strong ties to China," said Mark Erwin, Continental's senior vice president-Asia/Pacific. "The cultural and commercial links between New York and Shanghai can be further strengthened with the addition of nonstop air service. Flying nonstop from Newark Liberty to Shanghai would save at least five hours over current routings and provide huge benefits to the local community and relations between our two countries."
If awarded the new route, Continental plans to operate the flight daily with a Boeing 777 aircraft with 283 seats. The flight would depart Newark Liberty at 11:50 a.m., arriving in Shanghai mid-afternoon the following day at 2:05 p.m. The return flight would depart Shanghai in the late afternoon at 4:05 p.m. and arrive at Newark Liberty in the evening of the same day at 6:30 p.m. These flights would offer connecting service between Shanghai and over 75 cities served through Continental's Newark Liberty hub.
The new Shanghai flight would give travelers another option for reaching China on Continental in addition to Continental's current nonstop flights from Newark Liberty to Beijing and Hong Kong.
Continental Airlines is the world's fifth largest airline. Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more than 3,200 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 154 domestic and 138 international destinations. More than 400 additional points are served via SkyTeam alliance airlines. With more than 43,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with Continental Express, carries approximately 61 million passengers per year. Continental consistently earns awards and critical acclaim for both its operation and its corporate culture.
In 2006, Continental Airlines won its sixth J.D. Power and Associates award since 1996. The carrier received the highest rank in customer satisfaction among network carriers in North America in the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Airline Satisfaction Index Survey(SM). For the third consecutive year, FORTUNE magazine named Continental the No. 1 Most Admired Global Airline on its 2006 list of Most Admired Global Companies. Continental was also named the No. 1 airline on the publication's 2006 America's Most Admired airline industry list. Additionally, Continental again won major awards at the OAG Airline of the Year Awards including "Best Airline Based in North America" for the third year in a row, and "Best Executive/Business Class" for the fourth consecutive year.