Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Newark to London flights

Continental Airlines will add a fourth daily flights service in March and a fifth in the fall to the United Kingdom's busiest airport.

"All our New York and London customers will benefit from more flight options," Jeff Smisek, chief executive officer, said in a statement in which he described New York and Heathrow as "a flagship route."

Continental Airlines is adding more flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to London's Heathrow Airport in March, and with new lie-flat seats in BusinessFirst class as it tries to bolster its competitive position on the well-traveled route.

As of March 27, Heathrow-bound flights will leave Newark at 9 a.m., 6:40 p.m., 7:20 p.m. and 8 p.m.

On Oct. 30, a 10:10 p.m. daily departure will be added.

Continental started flying between Newark and Heathrow in 2008 when U.S. airlines' were given more access to slots because of an open skies agreement between the United States and European Union.

Delta Air Lines, which is going head to head with Continental in the New York trans-Atlantic market, also began flying to Heathrow in 2008.

It flies there twice a day out of John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Asked if Delta plans to add more flights on that route, spokesman Paul Skrbec would say only: "We continue to look at what the market is doing."

Continental also announced that effective June 1, all of its aircraft scheduled for Heathrow flights will feature seats in BusinessFirst that recline to lie completely flat, like a bed. Lie-flat seats are fast becoming the standard for trans-Atlantic premium travel.

New York to Heathrow business class ticket prices vary greatly. Online searches, without corporate discounts, showed various airlines' fares, for midweek travel in mid-February, ranging from just under $2,000 to more than $5,000 round trip.

Delta announced last month that it is putting lie-flat beds in its BusinessElite cabins on 90 aircraft used on long international flights, part of a three-year, $1 billion plan to upgrade customer service and improve fuel efficiency.