Continental Airlines Flights:

An overview of Continental Airlines

image of continental airlinesContinental Airlines was formed by partners Walter T Varney and Louis Mueller. This venture was initially called Varney Speed Lines. In July 1934, their first flight took off from Pueblo in Colorado and ended El Paso in Texas. The flight stopped over in Las Vegas and Albuquerque. It was in this year that Varney handed over control to Louis Mueller.

In July 1936, Mueller sold about 40% of the company to Robert Six who, in 1937, changed the name of the company to Continental Airlines and moved its headquarters to Denver. In the 1940s, during the Second World War, Continental Airlines modified the B-29 Super Fortress and the B-17 Flying Fortress in support of the United States war effort.

The 1950s saw the merger of Continental with Pioneer Airlines and their first jet flight. This flight was made by a Boeing 707-120.

In the 1960s Continental re-launched its corporate identity with the orange and red colour scheme and relocated its headquarters to Los Angeles. Continental made yet another war effort by transporting U S troops during the Vietnam War.

In the years that followed, from the late 1960s and the early 1970s that is, Continental expanded its route maps considerably. The airline merged with Texas International and began offering flights to Asia, Australia, as well as South and North America during 1982. In 1985, it launched its first non-stop flight to Europe. This flight took of from Houston and Newark to London respectively. Frankfurt, Paris, Munich and Madrid were soon added. Continental Airlines went on to become the third largest airline in the United States when they merged with People Express, New York Air and Frontier.

In 1991, the airline launched a new identity again: blue and grey. In 1992, they unveiled Business First service on all transoceanic flights. This new service even won them an award.

The 1990s proved to be very fruitful for the airline: it not only grew but started announcing sizable profits as well. In 1997, it was awarded Airline of the Year by Air Transport World. In 1998, it started flights to Ireland.

In order to remain abreast with competition and to enhance customer travel options, Continental Airlines announced its merger with Northwest Airlines. This merger created the fourth major airline network in the United States. The benefits of this merger were codesharing on both international and domestic flights, frequent flyer programs and sharing of airport lounges. The airline was named one of the best companies to work for by the Fortune Magazine. Continental went on to bag more awards like ‘Top Airline of the Year’, ‘Best Airline Website’, ‘No. 2 in the world’s most admired companies’ etc. besides making huge profits.

Last year, Continental Airlines was rated the Top Airline for the fifth consecutive year. It is also rated No 41 in the list of most admired companies.

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Globe Trotting with Continental Airlines :
Continental believes in providing its customers with seamless travel and it is because of this that they are part of various alliances. Continental is a part of the SkyTeam alliance that was formed in 2000. The SkyTeam alliance enables member airlines the ability to offer their passengers an extensive variety of destinations. The members of this team are: Alitalia, Aeroflot, Czech Airlines, Korean, Air France, KLM, Delta, Aeromexico, Northwest and China Southern Airlines.

Three of these airlines provide direct flights from South Africa to the USA: Air France, KLM and Delta.

Air France offers the South African tourist a choice of destinations ranging from Paris, Brussels, Frankfurt, Barcelona, London, Geneva, Venice, Chicago, Rome, San Francisco, New York to Los Angeles. The airline operates out of Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg.

Delta Airlines offers flights to Paris, Dakar and Atlanta form Johannesburg.

KLM connects South Africa to Amsterdam, Toronto, Madrid, Rome, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Paris, New York, Chicago Geneva, Glasgow and Berlin to name a few.

In addition to the SkyTeam alliance, Continental Airlines also has partnerships wit Alaska Airlines, Cape Air, Emirates, Hawaiian Airline, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Inland Air. Out of these, both Emirates and Virgin fly from South Africa. The latter offers direct flights to the USA.

Continental Airlines allows passengers to accumulate and use frequent flier miles across all of their partner airlines.