The Boeing Company today delivered the first 757-300 to Continental Airlines, making the airline the first worldwide to operate the 757-300 in a dual-class configuration.
Continental's new 757-300 will carry 210 passengers, with 24 seats in first class and 186 seats in economy class.
Continental has 14 more of the sleek, efficient 757-300s on order. Currently, the airline operates a fleet of 41 757-200s.
"We have continued to experience increasingly strong demand for the 757-300," said Pat Shanahan, 757 program vice president and general manager. "The airplane's proven reliability, fuel efficiency and comfort make it a continuous profit generator for the operator."
The 757-300 has an all-new interior based on the award-winning Boeing 777 interior. "Because of this, Continental's customers can look forward to a world-class flight in any seat," Shanahan said.
Continental will use its new 757-300s on domestic routes, initially on the East Coast from its major hub at Newark International Airport, serving the New York City region.
The addition of these new 757-300s to Continental's existing 737 and 757 fleets allows the airline to serve any medium-haul market with Boeing jetliners ranging from 100 to 210 seats. This gives Continental the flexibility to match capacity with forecasted demand in many market segments.
The 757-300 has the lowest seat-mile costs of any single-aisle and mid-sized jetliner, making it an extremely cost-effective airplane for airlines to operate. It burns less fuel than older mid-range airplanes, meets community noise restrictions well below current Stage 3 limits and complies with strict new international emissions standards.
After several years of reliable service with European tour operators, the 757-300 has established a firm foothold in the North American market.
"The 757-300, combined with a large installed fleet of 757-200s, offers airlines the flexibility to match capacity with demand and realize the corresponding economic benefit," Shanahan said. "We expect other airlines will want the capability of the 757-300 in their fleets."
Houston-based Continental Airlines is the fifth-largest airline in the United States, offering more than 1,900 departures daily to 122 domestic and 89 international destinations. Operating hubs in Newark, N.J., Houston, Cleveland and Guam, Continental serves more international cities than any other U.S. carrier, including extensive service throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Continental was named the 2001 Airline of the Year by Air Transport World, as well as the 1996 Airline of the Year, making it the only carrier to receive this honor twice in five years. Continental is in the top quarter of Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work for in America," and it is ranked the nation's No. 1 airline in customer satisfaction for long and short-haul flights by Frequent Flyer Magazine and J.D. Power and Associates.