Continental Airlines Credit Cards
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Continental Airlines has its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. The airlines forged a merger via stock in May, 2010 with UAL Inc, the parent company of United Airlines. Continental Airlines has since then changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc.
Just before the merger took place Continental ranked as the fourth largest airline in the US based on the amount of passenger-kilometers flown. They were the fifth largest based on the total amount of passengers transported. With destinations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin American and the Asia-Pacific regions it's easy to see why Continental Airlines is an airline of choice for frequent travellers.
An airline does not grow into a much trusted brand overnight. Continental Airlines' beginnings date back to 1934 with the Varney Speed Lines founded by Walter T. Varney and his partner Louis Mueller. This company was responsible for the carriage of airmail and passengers in the American Southwest. That very same year Varney handed over total control of the business to Mueller. Just two years later in 1936 Mueller sold 40 percent of the new company to Robert F. Six. In 1937 Robert Six changed the company name from Varney Speed Lines to Continental Airlines and moved the headquarters from El Paso to Denver.
During World War II, Continental converted several of their B-17s, B-29s and P-51s fleet for use for the United States Army Air Force. The profit that they gained from the conversion and carriage of military personnel gave them the capital they needed to invest in new aircraft after the war ended. Some of the airlines that they invested in included the DC-3, the Convair 240 and the Convair 340.
In 1946, Continental expanded their routes by this time added destinations from Denver to Kansas City, Tulsa, and to Oklahoma City, and from El Paso and Albuquerque to San Antonio. These routes also included stops in up to 22 smaller cities. The biggest expansion was yet to come in 1953 when Continental Airlines merged with Pioneer Airlines which gave them access to 16 further cities in Texas and New Mexico.
Continental underwent a lot of changes in the following years including the addition of a Boeing 701-120 in June of 1959, the unveiling of a new corporate identity in 1968, the relocation of its headquarters to Los Angeles in 1963, the formation of Air Micronesia in 1968 and the launch of its Continental Mainland-Hawaii service in 1969.
The 1970s brought the airline continued growth with expansion of Air Micronesia's routes to Saipan and points in Japan in 1976 but the most significant event for the airline came with they got approval from President Carter to start a new route from Los Angeles to New Zealand in 1977.
Following the highs that the early 1970s brought the deregulation of the airline industry saw the beginning of some turbulent times for Continental. In 1982 they merged with Texas International but maintained the Continental name. After the merger they were able to provide service to four continents (North and South America, Asia and Australia) with a fleet of 112 aircraft.
After filing under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code the company sought to rebuild shortly after and emerged victorious with a $50 million reported profit by the end of 1984. In 1985 non-stop flights from Newark and Houston to London began and shortly after destinations to Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid and Munich were added.
After an emergence from the Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1986 Continental became the largest U.S. airline after a consolidation of Frontier, People Express and New York Air. 1987 saw the addition of the OnePass Frequent Program. 3 years later in 1990 the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait which led to increased fuel costs greatly affected Continental leading to the filing of a second bankruptcy.
The airline continued to grow even while reporting years of losses over the years. The new merger with United Airlines puts the combined company as the world's largest airline in revenue passenger miles. The merged company will carry the United Airline's name and would be based out of United's headquarters but would carry Continental's logo.
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