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Houston Hub to Launch Continental’s Dreamliner to Auckland

Houston Airport System
May 26, 2010

© Houston Airport System
Continental Airlines is the first carrier to identify route plans for the Boeing 787

Continental Airlines will operate non-stop flights from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to Auckland, New Zealand starting Nov. 16, 2011 – and the even bigger news is the aircraft: Continental’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

“This new flight between Houston and Auckland shows how the Dreamliner will create new opportunities to connect global markets that currently are not being served,” said Mario Diaz, Houston Airport System director of aviation. “As the largest hub for Continental, Bush Intercontinental Airport is honored to be selected as the launch pad for the Continental Boeing 787.”

Continental is the first airline in the world to identify route plans for its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet. This new-technology composite aircraft offers lower operating costs, better environmental performance and an improved cabin environment for customer comfort.

“This hub has ongoing growth opportunities because it has a strategic location, space for expansion, support from the community and an excellent team of Continental co-workers who deliver our clean, safe and reliable service,” said Jeff Smisek, Continental’s chairman, president and CEO.

The Houston-Auckland route will benefit from connecting traffic at both ends. Continental's Houston hub will draw passengers from throughout North America and Houston will be a very competitive connecting hub for travelers on itineraries between Europe and Auckland.

"The Houston to Auckland service by Continental Airlines will be of huge benefit to both local and regional businesses and communities in both cities,” said Simon Moutter, CEO of Auckland Airport.

Continental plans to operate the route on a daily basis, with five-times-weekly service during certain periods in the first year of operation.

Flight Schedule

Depart Houston

Arrive Auckland

Depart Auckland

Arrive Houston

Summer 9:30 p.m. 5:10 a.m.
(2 days later)
3:40 p.m. 11:50 a.m.
(same day)
Winter 9:10 p.m. 6:55 a.m.
(2 days later)
5:55 p.m. 11:55 a.m.
(same day)

Hub Improvements

Meanwhile, Continental and the Houston Airport System announced the completion of the $65 million Terminal C renovation and expansion project. The upgrade was the first since the terminal was built in 1981.

The project was a partnership with the airport and the airline that enhances the customer experience by renovating and expanding the customer check-in facility in Terminal C IAH. The new facility increased the ticketing lobby by 15,000 square feet and the number of self-service kiosks doubled from 56 to 115. Other improvements included remodeling of the baggage claim and security checkpoint areas.

“We now have a very open lobby; it is actually brighter and more spacious,” said Debbie Price, Continental vice president of the Houston Hub. “We have a lot of customers who check-in online at home. We made it easy for them to drop off their bags and go to the security checkpoint. The goal with our facilities is to make it simple for the customer and offer a user-friendly environment so they can relax more.”

In the renovated terminal, Continental also offers full-service check-in for customers who require extra assistance.

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