Continental Airlines pilots concerned about polar routes.
Pilots with Continental Airlines have expressed concern about aspects of a new route between New York and Hong Kong that involves flying over the North Pole.
The Independent Association of Continental Pilots claims that Continental Airlines has not addressed issues such as pilot fatigue and fuel icing for the 15-hour nonstop flight. The union further claims that pilots are being asked to fly the route without a firm agreement, according to The Associated Press.
Continental Airlines meanwhile has stated: 'Our new Hong Kong flight is being operated according to the highest professional standards. The pilot union's comments are related to the labour contract that was agreed upon before this route was envisioned.'
The first flight to operate on the new route departed on 1 March from Newark International Airport with aviation representatives from several countries, including China and Russia, onboard.
Polar routes are already operated between North America and Asia by United Airlines and Northwest Airlines. United Airlines is due to start a New York to Hong Kong service from JFK Airport on 1 April.
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