Continental Airlines Receives Tentative Approval to Operate Flights to China

NEW YORK, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Continental Airlines (NYSE:CAL) today announced that it has received tentative approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to initiate service to Beijing in the People’s Republic of China from its hub at New York/Newark Liberty International Airport.

A date for the daily nonstop flight to Beijing will be announced once final approval is granted. Continental will be the only U.S. flag carrier linking the People’s Republic of China with New York, one of the largest origin-and-destination points in the United States for China travel. The flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-200ER with 283-seats, 48 in BusinessFirst and 235 in coach.

“We commend the Department of Transportation for opening the door to new competition between the U.S. and China,” said Larry Kellner, chairman and CEO of Continental Airlines. “Business travelers will appreciate how easy and convenient it is to use Continental to access Beijing’s thriving network of high-tech industries and manufacturing plants.”

Kellner thanked his coworkers, elected officials and thousands of concerned citizens and corporations for their support in securing service to Beijing. Nearly 13,000 Continental employees sent letters to the Department of Transportation, Congress and state and local officials urging approval.

In March 2001, Continental launched daily nonstop service from New York/Newark to Hong Kong.

The 13-hour flight (CO 89) will depart Liberty, subject to government approval, at noon, arriving in Beijing at 1:50 p.m. the next day. The return flight (CO 88) will leave the People’s Republic of China at 3:50 p.m., arriving in the United States 13 hrs. 25 minutes later at 5:15 p.m.

With a population of 1.3 billion, the People’s Republic of China is the largest country in the world.

Beijing is the nation’s capital — home to more than 12.5 million people. Although a largely industrial city comprised of textile mills, steel factories, and chemical and manufacturing plants, a significant portion of Beijing’s economy revolves around the high-technology sector. As the country’s economic and political center, Beijing is a crucial transportation hub for the rest of China.

Continental Airlines is the world’s sixth-largest airline with more than 3,000 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Continental serves 152 domestic and 122 international destinations — more than any other airline in the world — and nearly 400 additional points are served via SkyTeam alliance airlines. With 41,000 employees, the airline has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and carries approximately 55 million passengers per year. In 2004, Continental earned awards and critical acclaim for both its operation and its corporate culture. FORTUNE ranks Continental as the top airline in its Most Admired Global Companies in 2004. The carrier won major awards at the 2004 OAG Airline of the Year Awards including “Airline of the Year,” “Best Airline Based in North America” and “Best Executive/Business Class.” For more company information, visit continental.com .

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