Monday, March 3, 2008

Continental Airlines

Continental Airlines has confirmed that it has placed a multi billion dollar order with Boeing for 8 new Boeing 777s + 19 unspecified variants of the Boeing 737NGs. Insiders within CO, reveal 2 versions of the B 777 order. One side says all 8 are B 772ERs where as the other says that 2 B 772ERs are confirmed as part of the order but the remaining 6 are listed as unspecified options meaning that CO can exercise the remaining 6 as either B 773ERs or B 772LRs.


CO's B 772ERs suffer payload restrictions on their nonstop flights from EWR to HKG, BOM & DEL especially in the cargo belly. One would hope that CO's tradition of making "sensible" fleet decisions is implemented here and that all 8 B 777s are not of the -200ER version as CO would benefit greatly if B 777-200LRs are ordered as they can fly from its IAH & EWR hubs nonstop to DXB, Far East Asia (EWR-HKG), Africa (EWR-JNB) and India which the -200ER is incapable of doing and the -300ER is incapable of flying IAH-DXB/India nonstop.

CO also doesnt need the extra capacity of 50-70 more seats that the B 773ER offers as the B 772LR is the perfect aircraft for its ultra long haul routes for all seasons as it can fly 280 pax in a 2 class configuration + carry 16 tons of cargo in its belly without any problems what so ever.

Insiders have said that 2 B 772ERs have been ordered for sure which leaves 6 remaining. If 6 B 772LRs are ordered, then 2 can be used effectively for EWR-BOM + 2 for EWR-HKG + 2 for EWR-DEL. The B 772ERs that would be replaced on these routes can be used to launch one stop flights to South/Eastern Africa, increase capacity to Brazil + replace some EU routes operated by the B 764ER as the performance economics of the B 772ER on trans-atlantic flights is superior to the B 764ER!

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