Posts Tagged ‘Continental Airlines’

United Airlines and Continental Airlines today announced that United Airlines has agreed to buy Continental in a $3 billion-plus deal that would create the world’s largest carrier with a commanding position in several top U.S. cities. Interestingly, the headquarter will move to Chicago IL but it would be run by Continental CEO Jeffery Smisek.

So, how would the merged company look like –

In response to US Airways plan to merge with United Airlines, Continental CEO Smisek remarked –

“I recognized that United is the best possible partner for Continental,” Smisek said on a conference call. “I didn’t want him (United’s Tilton) to marry the ugly girl; I wanted him to marry the pretty one, and I’m much prettier.”

The merger will make it the number 1 carrier in US, with Delta the 2nd and American Airlines number 3. US Airways will the distant 4th (for US carriers with international carrier).

US Airways should be proud – their merger talks always result in someone else merging.


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Volatility of fuel prices is still an issue with the crude oil taking the highs of around $150 per barrel to the current lows of $42 per barrel. The scare of very expensive oil has caused airlines about alternative fuel and hopefully with current lows, the effort will not fade.

On January 7th 2009, Continental Airlines will test the use of a biofuel blend (derived from Algae and jatropha plants) on a Boeing 737-800 with nobody on board except for the test pilots. The test pilots “plan to run one engine on the biofuel blend and take it through power
accelerations and slowdowns, in-flight engine shutdown and restart and
other maneuvers. The airline said it expected a post-flight analysis
would show that the lower-emission biofuel plan can substitute for
regular fuel without loss of performance or safety.

The test is in partnership with airplane manufacturer Boeing, airplance engine
maker GE, Snecma, Honeywell technology and oil producers Sapphire
Energy and Terrasol.


An average Continental flight burns 18 gallons of fuel to fly one passenger 1,000 miles.
Alternative fuels for aircraft have been studied for years, but the
push got new urgency this year when jet-fuel prices hit record highs in
July. Fuel is one of the largest expenses for an airline.
Some fuels such as hydrogen lack the acceleration of traditional
kerosene-based jet fuel and would require planes be outfitted with
massive fuel tanks.
Airlines in South Africa use a coal-based fuel blend developed by
petrochemicals group Sasol that doesn’t require altering aircraft
engines or other parts. Air New Zealand is testing jatropha fuel in a
747 jetliner.

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Continental Airlines today announced –

  • Promotional $45 (one-way) fare for US Helicopter service between Newark and Manhattan. Please note that the discounted fare is available for limited time only to economy class passengers traveling on select faares to/from Newark Airport.
  • The service will be complimentary for passengers traveling on First Class and full-fare tickets.

Offer details from Market Watch

The special offer is effective immediately for tickets purchased on or
after Sept. 1 for travel through Oct. 31, 2008. Customers previously ticketed
to travel within these dates may add the US Helicopter service at the
discounted fare. No advance purchase is required. The promotional fare does
not include passenger facility charges of up to $18 per segment, Sept. 11
security fee of up to $5 each way or Federal excise tax of $3.50 per segment.
For reservations or additional information go to continental.com or call

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On July 25th 2000, Air France Flight 4590 (Concorde) crashed (in Gonesse, France) after taking off from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport killing 113 people (100 passengers, 9 crew and 4 on ground). The reason of the crash was attributed to rubber from the punctured tires (from the metal on the runway) rupturing the plane’s fuel tanks shortly after take off. In a 2004 French investigation, it was found that the metal came off from a Continental Airlines’ DC-10 that took off before the doomed Concorde flight. The metal is claimed to be Titanium whereas the safety rules dictate the use of Aluminum. Concorde’s fuel tanks are also claimed to have a design defect.
Five accused from BBC article

  • John Taylor, the Continental mechanic who allegedly fitted the metal strip to the
    DC-10, and Stanley Ford, a maintenance official from the airline
  • Henri Perrier, a former head of the Concorde division at Aerospatiale, now
    part of the aerospace company EADS, and Concorde’s former chief
    engineer Jacques Herubel
  • Claude Frantzen, a former member of France’s civil aviation watchdog
      From Wikipedia

      “British investigators and former French Concorde pilots looked at
      several other possibilities that the report ignored, including an
      unbalanced weight distribution in the fuel tanks and loose landing
      . They came to the conclusion that the Concorde veered course on
      the runway, which reduced take-off speed below the crucial minimum.”


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      Continental Airlines has been in talks with American Airlines and British Airways to join their Oneworld alliance, but instead announced that it will join the Star Alliance (with United Airlines and US Airways).

      Continental had to change its alliance from SkyTeam due to Delta and Northwest Merger Announcement.

      From Dallas News

      plan to partner with United and join the Star Alliance will provide
      substantial new opportunities for all of our customers,” Continental
      chairman and chief executive officer Larry Kellner said in the joint
      announcement Thursday.

      “In a network business, there is
      significant value gained from linking with larger networks to provide
      truly national coverage and expanded global reach, and exploring new
      ways to reduce costs and improve efficiencies,” he said.

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