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Continental Airlines urges DOT to approve airline`s application for China service

Citing consumer benefits and strong support from federal, state, local and economic development officials, Continental Airlines urged…

Citing consumer benefits and strong support from federal, state, local and economic development officials, Continental Airlines urged the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve the airline`s application for service linking New York/Newark with the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai.

Continental`s service will be the only flights operated by a U.S. carrier linking mainland China with New York, the largest origin-and-destination point in the United States for China travel.

Continental is the only applicant proposing a comprehensive plan to create a significant presence in China, offer the first daily nonstop service for China`s two primary cities from the largest U.S. gateway and begin competing effectively with well-entrenched incumbent carriers on U.S.-China routes, said Continental Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gordon Bethune in written testimony.

Bethune thanked his coworkers, elected officials and thousands of concerned citizens and corporations for their incredible show of support for Continental`s application. Nearly 13,000 employees have sent letters of support to the Department of Transportation, and thousands more letters have been sent from members of Congress, state and local officials, major U.S. corporations, travel industry partners, chambers of commerce, Chinese-American organizations, and concerned citizens. More letters of support are being sent daily.

If approved, service between New York/Newark and Beijing will begin in March 2005, with Shanghai service beginning in March 2006. Each flight will be linked to dozens of communities via Continental`s Global Gateway hub at Newark Liberty International Airport, the only major-airline international hub serving the New York area. In all, Continental anticipates its proposed Beijing and Shanghai services will provide for more public benefits than proposals for new service at Chicago, Atlanta, Honolulu, Oakland and San Francisco.

Continental`s proposal to use a new China designation and 14 weekly frequencies will maximize the benefits of these new opportunities:

  • Only Continental will serve the largest U.S.-China gateway, New York/Newark
  • Only Continental will introduce nonstop U.S.-flag service in the largest U.S.-China markets without such service
  • Only Continental will provide the first U.S.-flag service between a primary U.S.-China gateway and Beijing and Shanghai
  • Only Continental will meet the requirements of the largest underserved origin-and-destination markets, as well as providing comprehensive network connections.

In contrast to Continental`s bold plan to build on its daily nonstop New York/Newark-Hong Kong and New York/Newark-Tokyo Narita services by adding two China destinations, the other applications for combination service authority would be handicapped by serving smaller U.S. gateways, offering service on only one route, duplicating service already offered by their own codeshare partners or other airlines, or lacking any network to offer comprehensive U.S.-China service, Bethune said in his written testimony.

If approved, Continental will operate each service with Boeing 777-200ER aircraft.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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