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Continental Announces Newark-Cairo Service


Hartmann

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Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today announced plans to launch nonstop flights between Newark Liberty and Cairo, Egypt, beginning May 18, 2011, subject to government approval.

Cairo, the largest city in Africa and the Middle East, will be the 72nd international destination that Continental serves from its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and the 30th city in Continental's trans-Atlantic route network. Continental serves more nonstop destinations with more flights from the New York area than any other airline.

Cairo is the third new international destination Continental has announced since May -- the airline plans to begin daily service from its Houston hub to Lagos, Nigeria, beginning Nov. 10, 2011, and service to Auckland, New Zealand, beginning Nov. 16, 2011, subject to government approval.

"We are excited to grow our international route network from the New York area by adding nonstop service to Cairo," said Jeff Smisek, Continental's chairman, president and CEO. "Continental's new route will provide numerous opportunities for connections to dozens of destinations in Africa and the Middle East that are served by our Star Alliance partners."

On May 3, Continental announced that it has agreed to merge with United Airlines in a merger of equals to create the world's leading airline. The success of the Newark-Cairo route will be enhanced by the additional traffic flows through Newark that are expected to result from the merger.

Full Press Release

Not sure it will be a big draw for Houstonians unless your destination is CAI. If connecting elsewhere in the Middle East or Africa I think the timing of IAH-Europe-MidEast/Africa is better. If wanting the Middle East there are of course IAH-DXB and IAH-DOH on Emirates and Qatar Airlines respectively.

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I don't understand the logic behind the recent destination announcements by CO. Auckland and Cairo?? Are they larger business centers than I realize? I know they wouldn't begin a service without thoroughly doing the research for potential revenue, but these seem odd, esp IAH-ACK. About a dozen more cities come to mind before ACK that would be great markets from IAH. Maybe these are routes that were easy to get approval for.

Edited by frheard
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I don't understand the logic behind the recent destination announcements by CO. Auckland and Cairo?? Are they larger business centers than I realize? I know they wouldn't begin a service without thoroughly doing the research for potential revenue, but these seem odd, esp IAH-ACK. About a dozen more cities come to mind before ACK that would be great markets from IAH. Maybe these are routes that were easy to get approval for.

Air New Zealand and Air Egypt are members of the Star Alliance, and Auckland and Cairo are their largest hubs respectively. Since Continental (and United) are also members of the Star Alliance, passengers can buy tickets on any of the airlines, making connections in these cities much easier. It can draw lots of connection traffic (rather than O&D traffic) on both ends, making the routes financially lucrative.

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Air New Zealand and Air Egypt are members of the Star Alliance, and Auckland and Cairo are their largest hubs respectively. Since Continental (and United) are also members of the Star Alliance, passengers can buy tickets on any of the airlines, making connections in these cities much easier. It can draw lots of connection traffic (rather than O&D traffic) on both ends, making the routes financially lucrative.

OK, I guess it pays to read the press release! That being said, however, the only advantage I see after looking at NZ's route map, is Australia and deep deep South Pacific, vs Micronesia which CO has pretty much covered. Once CO is UA (((~~shutter~~))) they will have Australia covered, as well, thus eliminating the need for connection traffic from AKL. (btw, above I used ACK as the city code for Auckland, NZ. It is in fact, AKL. I apologize for the error.) Just my view. I'm in no way an airline route specialist. I'm sure they know what they are doing, UA merger notwithstanding.

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UA has pretty limited service to Aus-NZ, and offers limited connections out of LAX and SFO. Going through AKL and IAH, people can connect from pretty much all of the cities in Aus-NZ to the entire eastern US, upper Latin America, and even Europe. It's all about the connections. Because of Qantas' limited connections on OneWorld partner AA out of LAX, it's rumored they're also considering a Sydney-DFW run to do the same thing. This may be a preemptive move by CO-ANZ to seize that market first and dissuade them from doing it.

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OK, I guess it pays to read the press release! That being said, however, the only advantage I see after looking at NZ's route map, is Australia and deep deep South Pacific, vs Micronesia which CO has pretty much covered. Once CO is UA (((~~shutter~~))) they will have Australia covered, as well, thus eliminating the need for connection traffic from AKL. (btw, above I used ACK as the city code for Auckland, NZ. It is in fact, AKL. I apologize for the error.) Just my view. I'm in no way an airline route specialist. I'm sure they know what they are doing, UA merger notwithstanding.

The IAH-AKL route actually fits the 787 perfectly. Boeing has designed the aircraft for so-called "long and thin" routes. They did this by not trying to compete with the Airbus 380 but instead increasing fuel efficiency and maximizing passenger numbers.

The passenger numbers for Continental's 787 are very close to the 767 but the range has been significantly increased, allowing them to serve further destinations without the potential for large numbers of seats to go out empty. The perfect operational fill on most airlines is 83-86% of the seats filled (I know, it's weird that it's not 100%).

Where I see IAH fitting into this is the New Zealand traffic to South America, which, from my experience there is a lot of.

The Newark-Cairo route makes sense to me because of the connections that Egypt Air offers to the rest of Africa and the Middle East. People should be aware that they are a dry airline though ;)

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