Friday, June 25, 2010
Continental Airlines has officially announced that its first route to be flown with its new Boeing 787-800 fleet shall be a new destination in itself. New daily nonstop flights to Auckland, New Zealand have been chosen as the launch route flown from its IAH-Houston hub. The flight time is 15 hours and the configuration of its B 788s will have 228 seats in a 2 class layout i.e. 36 business class + 192 in economy class.
This has come as quite a shock to many as no one expected IAH-AKL to be the initial route operated by CO's maiden B 788s nor did anyone expect IAH-AKL to be even in the short term expansion pipeline! Anyways, other routes ear marked by CO to be operated by their B 788 fleet are a new daily same plane service IAH-EWR-DXB, replacing B 772ERs to both BOM and DEL, replacing B 764ER on IAH-CDG, replacing B 762ERs from both EWR and IAH to GRU, replacing B 762ERs from IAH to EZE and new daily service to West Africa (most likely LOS) from EWR. One should also expect SE Asian routes such as IAH-ICN (with OZ code sharing) and IAH-China too launched within the next 3-4 years with the B 788s if the worldwide economy holds fort.