Continental Airlines has become the first major U.S. airline to order the Boeing 7E7 aircraft, with the first 7E7 to be delivered in 2009. The company's initial 7E7 order is for ten aircraft.
"The 7E7 will be an important part of our international growth strategy," said Gordon Bethune of Continental. "With it we can continue to differentiate our award winning service and our consistently growing international network."
"The 7E7 is the widebody of the future for Continental and will provide the platform for our long-term international growth," said Larry Kellner of Continental. "Leasing these additional 757 and 737 aircraft will be another step in outdistancing our competitors in this rapidly changing environment."
Continental is the first major U.S. carrier to announce plans to acquire the technologically advanced and highly efficient airplane slated to enter service in 2008.
"The 7E7 is simply a game changer," said Gordon Bethune, Continental Airline's chairman and chief executive officer. "It will position Continental for significant international growth from our New York and Houston hubs over the next decade."
This agreement increases to 122 the number of customer-announced 7E7 orders since the program's launch in April of this year. Firm contracts are in place for 56 airplanes and negotiations continue with additional launch team customers worldwide.
"Continental is a bellwether addition to the 7E7 Launch Team," said Mike Bair, Boeing vice president and general manager of the 7E7 program. "Continental understands the superior operating economics, faster turnaround times and lower maintenance costs of Boeing airplanes."
The other 7E7 Launch Team members are ANA, Air New Zealand, Europe's Blue Panorama and First Choice, Primaris of the U.S. and Japan Airlines. "This order plus the previously announced orders demonstrate the Dreamliner's unprecedented appeal for a wide range of airlines with distinct business models," said Bair.
With the 7E7 Dreamliner, Boeing provides a largely composite airplane that burns twenty percent less fuel, provides airlines with up to sixty percent more cargo revenue capacity and offers passengers a better flying experience. The 7E7 sets the standard for interior passenger comfort, allowing higher cabin humidity, lower atmospheric pressurization, wider seats and aisles, larger windows, and unmatched stowage capacity.