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CONTINENTAL AIRLINES UNVEILS "BUSINESSFIRST" SERVICE ON INTERCONTINENTAL FLIGHTS

 CONTINENTAL AIRLINES UNVEILS "BUSINESSFIRST" SERVICE
 ON INTERCONTINENTAL FLIGHTS
 HOUSTON, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- In direct response to the specific needs of international business travelers, Continental Airlines today unveiled a totally redesigned business class service -- "BusinessFirst." This new service will offer a roomy, electronically-controlled sleeper seat with a spacious 55-inch pitch, more flight attendants providing cabin service, as well as other service amenities typically found only in international first class. BusinessFirst offers virtually all of the comforts and service of international first class -- in business class at business class fares.
 Continental is converting its fleet of 18 747 and DC-10-30 intercontinental widebody jets to the new configuration, which eliminates the first class cabin and focuses attention on delivering first-class-quality service to business travelers in 44-48 BusinessFirst sleeper seats.
 Continental will launch BusinessFirst in London and Paris in December, phase in the service to Frankfurt, Munich and Madrid by January, and cover the Pacific by the first quarter of 1993.
 "This revolutionary service concept is the product of three years' thoughtful planning, beginning with a thorough analysis of what it is that international business travelers really want and need from their airline," said Robert R. Ferguson, III, Continental chief executive officer. "BusinessFirst represents a significant capital commitment that we believe will be rapidly repaid, based on the fact that the product delivers far more value for the traveler's dollar."
 The Most Space; Superior Amenities
 The French-built sleeper seats are BusinessFirst's hallmark, and are the linchpin of Continental's competitive strategy in introducing the new international service. No airline in the world offers more space in business class than BusinessFirst's 55-inch pitch -- 38 percent more than typical -- which results in more legroom and ample space for a restful deep-recline. The BusinessFirst seat also features a power lumbar support, motorized extendable legrest and adjustable headrest.
 Each new seat is equipped with a personal entertainment system featuring a choice of six simultaneous multi-lingual video programs on a flip-up swivel-mounted LCD television screen, plus a choice of 90-minute audio programs on electronic stereo headsets.
 A new "Executive Meal Option" permits travelers to select a meal time that suits them best. BusinessFirst meals will feature a choice of four entrees, elegantly served from a culinary cart, accompanied by superior wines and followed by gourmet desserts. New china, stemware, flatware and dining accessories were custom-designed for the BusinessFirst service.
 The flight attendant crew complement on each aircraft is being increased by up to 35 percent in a reflection of BusinessFirst's attentive service standards. BusinessFirst cabins are arranged with two-abreast seating, with every seat either on an aisle or having a window. Foreign-language newspaper and periodical selections will be tailored to each flight's particular origin and destination.
 BusinessFirst customers will be booked in first class for the domestic U.S. segments of their international trip. For instance, on a trip from Detroit to Frankfurt, a BusinessFirst customer will fly in first class on the Detroit-Newark segment. A BusinessFirst traveler receives a 25 percent OnePass mileage bonus for the entire journey.
 In sum, Continental's BusinessFirst was designed to compare with international first class service at an everyday business class price.
 Aircraft Deployment
 The first aircraft to be completed in early October will serve various transatlantic and transpacific routes as additional jets undergo conversion.
 By early December, half the fleet will be converted, and by that time BusinessFirst aircraft will be dedicated to fly every trip on routes from Newark and Houston to London and Paris. By mid-January, 75 percent of the fleet will be converted, and transatlantic flights to/from all five Continental destinations in Europe -- a total of 92 flights per week -- will provide BusinessFirst service on a regularly scheduled basis. When the entire fleet is completed by April, all transoceanic flights will offer BusinessFirst.
 The Research and Strategy Behind BusinessFirst
 One-third of Continental's traffic and one-fourth of its revenues derive from international routes. Three years ago, as Continental sought to begin increasing its international activity even more, the airline conducted research into the intercontinental business travel markets. The company learned that the most important factors affecting a business traveler's choice of airlines are seat comfort and attention to personal service. The entire BusinessFirst product stemmed from this finding, and the resulting product definition (first class comfort and personal space in a business class cabin) was made possible.
 Continental is the only U.S. airline to convert its international fleet to a two-class configuration; virtually all other international airlines are wedded to the three-class concept.
 BusinessFirst Fact Sheet 1
 Business Class Seat Pitch Comparison
 Seat pitch is the airline industry's standard gauge of passenger comfort as measured by row spacing. Pitch is measured from one point on a seat to the equivalent point on the seat in the next row forward. International travelers on Continental will enjoy an extendable legrest and full sleeper- seat recline by virtue of BusinessFirst's extra 15 inches of pitch compared to competing airlines:
 Airline 747 DC-10
 Continental Airlines 55" 55"
 BusinessFirst
 Air France 38" n/a
 American Airlines 40" 40"
 British Airways 40" 40"
 Delta Airlines 40(A) 42"
 JAL 40" n/a
 KLM Royal Dutch 38" n/a
 Lufthansa 40" 38"
 Qantas 40" n/a
 Swissair 40" 40"
 United Airlines 40" 40"
 (A) Delta does not operate 747. Figure is for L-1011 and 767 aircraft.
 BusinessFirst Fact Sheet 2
 Typical Prevailing Business Class Fares
 BusinessFirst fares will remain unchanged from today's business class levels, except as they may be adjusted for competitive reasons. Following are examples of BusinessFirst fares on typical routes, based on U.S. origination:
 Typical Route Fare (Each Way)
 Newark-Paris $ 1458
 Houston-London 1889
 Cleveland-Munich 1608
 Chicago-Frankfurt 1660
 Miami-Madrid 1503
 -0- 10/8/92
 /CONTACT: Continental Airlines Corporate Communications, 713-834-5080/ CO: Continental Airlines ST: Texas IN: AIR SU: PDT


SM -- NY048 -- 7816 10/08/92 11:49 EDT
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Date:Oct 8, 1992
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