Continental Airlines

Houston George Bush, Newark- Liberty, Cleveland -Hopkins

Continental Airlines was an American airline based in Continental Center I in Houston. Through a merger with United Airlines in 2010/2011, under which the merged company gave the brand names Continental Airlines in favor of United Airlines, the headquarters were moved to Chicago. Continental from 2004 to 2009 Member of the international airline alliance Skyteam and changed in 2009, before the merger with United in the Star Alliance, whose member the merged company until today.

  • 3.1 Continental Airlines
  • 3.2 Continental Connection


Early years

The company's roots lie in the founding of the Continental postal air service Varney Speed ​​Lines on April 6, 1926, Walter T. Varney and Louis H. Mueller in Denver (Colorado). The airline took on 15 July 1934 on the operation as a passenger and mail airline with four Lockheed Vega. On September 1, 1937, the name changed to Continental Airlines after the sale to Robert F. Six, after he had acquired in 1935 with $ 90,000, a 40 % stake in the company and on July 5 1936 was General Manager. In October 1937, the airline moved its headquarters to Stapleton International Airport in Denver, Colorado.

Further development until the 1970s

1946 29 cities have already been served, in 1953 and 1957 Pioneer Airlines' served with Los Angeles, Chicago and Kansas City, have regional objectives with Vickers Viscount. In June 1959 began at Continental Airlines Boeing 707 with the jet age, and then came into being in 1968, the subsidiary Air Micronesia (now Continental Micronesia ), Guam. In 1970, the first Boeing 747 was put into service in 1978 and greatly expanded with the deregulation of U.S. air transport route network.

1980s and 1990s

As part of the deregulation of the American airline industry came in 1982 for the takeover of Continental by Texas International. The head office of the airline was moved to Houston and Frank Lorenzo as the new boss of the airline. This led the company in 1983 in an insolvency proceeding under Chapter 11 1986 Chapter 11 was abandoned and in 1987 bought the rival society People Express and New York Air. People Express was one of the first low cost airlines and operated mainly from Denver, but also of Newark from. There were, however, also flights to London Gatwick offered by People Express, Continental eventually opened the gate to Europe. Newark Airport was another hub for Continental Through the acquisition of both companies. The Boeing 737-300 and McDonnell Douglas MD- 80 of the New York Air remained until a few months in the fleet of Continental Airlines, one of People Express continued to occupy the Boeing 727 and even some years the Boeing 747

Since May 16, 1986, the fully integrated subsidiary Continental Micronesia, which operates at 100% as a partner of Continental Airlines in the Asian and Pacific region exists. Main hub of Continental Micronesia is the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

1990 had the airline again protection from your creditors under Chapter 11 look, mainly because the pension obligations which the undertaking in difficulty sister company Eastern Air Lines weighed on Continental. 1993 invested Air Canada, together with the Texas Pacific Group, $ 450 million in Continental.

Recent history since 2000

1999 and 2000 was elected Continental Airlines by Forbes magazine among the top 100 U.S. employers. The former Boeing manager Gordon Bethune took over the management of the company and the company restructured successfully. Through him, Continental was profitable and was among the major U.S. airlines which are best mastered the financial setbacks in the aviation industry following the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. Bethune brought Continental very fast success, invested in excellent staff and service, reasonable prices for good performance and rapid fleet renewal was taken in accelerated attack.

As a result of the pending merger of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines, Continental Airlines decided to reconsider their membership in the SkyTeam alliance. After failed merger talks with United Airlines followed talks about a possible cooperation and membership in the oneworld alliance with American Airlines and British Airways as well as further discussions with United Airlines. On 19 June 2008, finally they decided on a close co-operation with United Airlines, Lufthansa and Air Canada in the cartel Atlantic Plus - Plus as well as a change to the Star Alliance, which was completed on 27 October 2009. On 8 April 2009 the U.S. Department of Transportation approved the accession of Continental Airlines to Star Alliance and on 10 July 2009 at Atlantic Plus -Plus.

Merger with United Airlines

In May 2010 it was announced that Continental will merge with United Airlines. The new company will be called United Airlines. The logo and the corporate design of Continental, including the color scheme of the aircraft will be acquired by United. United takes on Continental Airlines for $ 3.2 billion dollars in shares.

End of September 2010 began the merger process under the aegis of the new parent company, United Continental Holdings. On 1 December 2011, the Air Operator Certificate of the two companies merged, Continental Airlines flies since then as United Airlines and also used the call sign. With the integration of Continental in the license from United went so legally, the operations of Continental Airlines.

On March 3, 2012 finally was officially the last scheduled flight in the history of Continental Airlines Flight CO1267 resulted from Phoenix to Cleveland.


Continental Airlines operated numerous destinations within the United States as well as many international destinations on several continents. From the hub at Newark New York from Continental flew to Germany Berlin daily ( Boeing 757-200 ), Frankfurt ( Boeing 777-200 ), Hamburg ( Boeing 757-200 ), Munich ( Boeing 767-400 ) and Stuttgart (Boeing 757 - 200), in Switzerland also daily Geneva (Boeing 767-400 ) on. With the switch to Star Alliance came from September 2, 2009 also daily flights from Houston to Frankfurt with Boeing 777-200 added. Since 3 January 2012, the route from Newark to Frankfurt is also ( to 3rd of March 2012 with Continental flight number) increased by an additional daily flight with Boeing 757-200.


Continental Airlines

The main fleet of Continental Airlines was with as of June 2011 from 353 machines with an average age of 10.1 years, which passed in the fleet of the "new" United Airlines during the merger:

Continental Connection

Under the brand name and in the name of Continental Connection is a network of regional and feeder flights for Continental Airlines operated by Chautauqua Airlines, ExpressJet Airlines, Cape Air, Colgan Air and CommutAir:


  • On July 25, 2000, a DC-10 lost a metal part on the runway, as it launched in Paris. This part led to the crash of an Air France Concorde, in which 113 people died. On 6 December 2010, the Court of Continental Airlines and a mechanic airline convicted of manslaughter. On November 29, 2012 Continental Airlines and its employees were acquitted in a withdrawal procedure of the charge of involuntary manslaughter. The airline must only pay one million euros in compensation for the erlittenden property and reputational damage to Air France.
  • On 12 February 2009 a crashed machine of the Colgan Air Bombardier Q400, which flew as Continental Connection on behalf of Continental, from near Buffalo. In the accident all 44 passengers and four crew members and a man died on the ground. At the time of the crash there was bad weather.