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Continental cites LTV3 as key to ancillary revenue plan

LiveTV's new live television system LTV3 was recognized today by a top Continental Airlines executive as playing a key role in the carrier's ancillary revenue strategy going forward.

Speaking today at the Merrill Lynch 2009 global transportation conference, Continental executive vice-president and CFO Zane Rowe cited the new LiveTV offering - which will offer up to 80 channels of live television to domestic passengers - as one of the ways the carrier is seeking to "add to the traditional revenue" it receives from passengers.

One Boeing 737-900ER outfitted with LTV3 entered commercial service on 3 April. LTV3 will eventually be available on 757-300s, and all of Continental's 737NG aircraft, including the -700, -800, -900 and -900ER.

The narrowbodies are expected to be equipped with television systems at a pace of 15 aircraft per month starting in the summer.

Customers will be able to choose from a variety of programming from DirecTV, including sports, news, weather, children's programming and general entertainment.

The initial channel programming line-up offered through the in-flight entertainment system includes CBS, NBC, FOX News, CNN Headline News, ESPN, Animal Planet, The History Channel, Food Network, Nickelodeon, MTV and other popular channels.

Also playing a crucial role in Continental's ancillary revenue scheme is the carrier's first and second checked baggage fees. The carrier expects to see an additional "$200 million on a run rate basis" this year from that programme, says Rowe.

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