Continental Airlines Announces Launch Date for Start of Service to China

NEW YORK, March 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Continental Airlines (NYSE:CAL) today announced that it has received final approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to begin service to Beijing, China from Newark Liberty International Airport.

Daily nonstop service will begin June 15 and will be operated by a 283-seat Boeing 777-200ER.

Tickets will be available soon through continental.com and other distribution channels.

Continental, which serves more airports around the world than any other airline, will be the only U.S. carrier offering daily nonstop service from New York to the People’s Republic of China.

The 13-hour flight will depart Liberty at noon, arriving in Beijing at 1:50 p.m. the next day. The return flight will leave the People’s Republic of China at 3:50 p.m., arriving in the United States 13 hours and 25 minutes later at 5:15 p.m.

“The Beijing route holds exceptional long-term promise since it connects the world’s fastest growing economy with the financial center of the U.S.,” said Continental Chairman and CEO Larry Kellner. “Our new flight to China will offer our award-winning BusinessFirst service and will feature vast connecting opportunities from our hub at Newark Liberty.”

Kellner thanked the Transportation Department for expeditiously awarding Continental the route and for negotiating the bilateral agreement that opened the door for new competition to serve China.

Continental Airlines is the world’s sixth-largest airline with more than 3,000 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. The carrier serves 152 domestic and 122 international destinations, more than any other carrier in the world. Nearly 400 additional points are served via SkyTeam alliance airlines, which include Aeromexico, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Korean Air and Northwest Airlines. With 41,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and carries approximately 55 million passengers per year. Continental consistently earns awards and critical acclaim for both its operation and its corporate culture. For the second consecutive year, FORTUNE magazine named Continental the No. 1 Most Admired Global Airline on its 2005 list of Most Admired Global Companies. Continental was also included in the publication’s annual “Top 50″ list, which ranks all companies, across a wide variety of industries, that appear in the Global Most Admired Companies issue. Continental 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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