Star Alliance impacts Bush Intercontinentalmihost
Jeff Smisek, president and chief operating officer from Continental Airlines joined leaders from the Houston Airport System (HAS) to celebrate the start of three new nonstop flights, all launched on the same day.
The new service from Continental involves nonstop flights to Frankfurt, Germany; Edmonton, Canada and Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C.
«I believe that this is the first time in the history of George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) that we’ve had three new nonstop flights kick off on the same day,» said HAS interim aviation director Eric Potts. «And this new service is not only important to Continental but it’s also important to the city of Houston because of the gateway city that we’ve become.»
The inaugural event took place inside Terminal E at IAH and featured several different touches that highlighted the international flavor associated with the big launch.
As passengers moved forward to board the Edmonton flight, they made their way past the red maple leaf emblazoned on the Canadian flag posted near the check-in counter.
When it was time for the Frankfurt launch, German music provided the entertainment while passengers filled up on German sausage and bratwurst.
The celebration and the launches behind it, are the result of an agreement called the «Star Alliance,» which partners Continental with 24 other airlines in accessing 1,071 airports in 169 countries through 19,500 flights.
«We are pleased to further expand our network of service from Houston by linking our largest hub to Frankfurt, the largest hub of Lufthansa, our new Star Alliance partner,» said Smisek. «This new flight complements Lufthansa’s existing Houston-Frankfurt service, and is a good example of the benefits that Star Alliance will bring to our customers.»
The launch of the three nonstop flights is just the latest in a string of positive announcements from HAS team members, as IAH continues to draw new service even in the midst of an economic downturn.
New airlines have come to Houston in 2009 and existing airlines have opted to expand their route network at the «Big Airport,» even as other large market airports are experiencing a drawback in the number of nonstop destinations.
«This is definitely a terrific time to be thinking about the future,» Potts said. «The Star Alliance is going to be bringing great things to Continental and we want to be standing side by side with our partner and helping to make those great things happen.»