Continental to operate Houston-Lagos with the 787

Washington DC
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Continental has unveiled a second route pairing for the Boeing 787, declaring its intention of offer flights from its Houston hub to Lagos, Nigeria.

The carrier aims to secure necessary approvals to launch flights on 10 November 2011, which is six days before the launch of Continental's 787-operated flights from Houston to Auckland.

Continental has 25 787s on order split between 11 for the -8 model and 14 for -9, according to Flighglobal's ACAS database.

The introduction of daily flights to Lagos marks Continental's first destination in Africa, and the new service will result in Houston becoming one of four cities to have nonstop service to "every inhabited continent on the globe", says Continental.

The carrier, which is attempting to merge with United Airlines, plans to operate the 787-8 on the new 6,500-mile flights with 36 seats in its business-first section and 192 in economy.

Continental estimates the new flights should have an average flying time of 11h eastbound and 12h 30min westbound, which will reduce travel times by roughly 4h through the elimination of connections on the route.

Recently, United CEO Glenn Tilton touted to US legislators that the merged carrier will the US launch customer for the 787.

If United and Continental are successful in forging their merger, the carrier will operate as United, with headquarters in Chicago.