Continental Airlines’ first aircraft with new
flat-bed BusinessFirst seats took to the skies Sunday, operating
as flight CO98 from Hong Kong to New York / Newark.
The aircraft, a Boeing 777 used on long-haul international routes, is the first aircraft type in
Continental’s fleet to receive the new seats. The company will
also install the flat-bed seats on its Boeing 757-200 and
767-400 aircraft, and on its Boeing 787 fleet as the aircraft are
delivered to Continental.
“We began designing this
seat three years ago, involving our customers and numerous other experts to get it just right and I couldn’t be more
pleased with the end result,” said Larry Kellner, chairman
and chief executive officer of Continental Airlines. “This is a
great seat and I am excited to see more of them on flights
throughout our system.”
Continental’s new BusinessFirst seats allow customers to lie
completely flat, reclining 180-degrees and providing 6 ˝
feet (2 meters) of sleeping space in the fully extended position.
Electronic controls enable customers to easily move the
lumbar support and fully extended sleep positions. Laptop power,
headset and USB plugs are conveniently tucked above the
customer’s shoulder and iPod connectivity is also
available at the seat. The seats feature 15.4-inch video monitors.
product marketing team began researching new seat options in the
fall of 2006 when planning BusinessFirst service for the
new 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The airline visited with
numerous seat manufacturers worldwide before selecting BE
Aerospace, which created five different design concepts.
Concurrently, Continental sought feedback from a focus group of BusinessFirst frequent flyers that identified and
prioritized key needs of global travelers and worked
closely with the airline's project team and the seat manufacturer
to help create the new seat. The important features
requested by the focus group were to install a wider seat that
could lie completely flat and be easy to operate.
Continental currently operates the Boeing 777 on routes between
Newark and Beijing, Shanghai, Delhi, Frankfurt, Hong Kong,
London/Heathrow, Mumbai, Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv and Tokyo,
and between Houston and London/Heathrow, Amsterdam and Tokyo.
Continental uses the Boeing 767-400 on routes between Newark
and Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Geneva and Honolulu;
between Houston and Frankfurt, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and
Honolulu; and between Guam and Honolulu and Narita.
BusinessFirst on the Boeing 757 is currently offered on routes
between Newark and Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin,
Birmingham, Bristol, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh,
Glasgow, Hamburg, Lisbon, London/Heathrow, Madrid, Manchester,
Oslo, Paris, Shannon and Stockholm.
See other recent news regarding: