Continental seeks to postpone Newark-Cali service

Washington DC
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Continental Airlines is seeking permission to postpone starting service between Newark and Cali to June 2002, citing slowing economies in the USA and Columbia.

Under the phase-in terms of the open skies agreement between the USA and Colombia, the airline was awarded seven frequencies by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for Newark-Cali service to begin 1 October. But Continental has asked the DOT for a waiver of the agency’s 90-day dormancy rule so it can postpone service launch until next June.

In a 6 June filing with the DOT, Continental says: “Under current economic conditions in Columbia and the United States, Continental has concluded that nonstop New York/Newark-Cali flights should not begin until 1 June 2002…Continental believes the additional eight months is a reasonable period of time in which to expect a turnaround in Columbia’s economic conditions and an upswing in the US economy as well.”

Continental adds that it would be “inappropriate under current economic conditions” to launch service in October.