Continental Express: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Continental Express
Co logo express black 3p.png
Founded 1986
Frequent flyer program OnePass
Alliance Star Alliance
Fleet size 249
Destinations 151
Company slogan A New Way to Move People.
Parent company ExpressJet Holdings, Inc.
Headquarters Houston, Texas
Key people CEO -
Co logo express black 3p.png
ExpressJet Airlines headquarters in Greenspoint, Houston
Continental Center I, Continental Airlines's headquarters in Downtown Houston, formerly housed ExpressJet's headquarters

Continental Express is the operating name brand of a number of independently owned regional airlines providing regional jet feeder service in association with Continental Airlines. Currently, two carriers operate using the Continental Express brand name:

Continental Express, operated by ExpressJet and Chautauqua, offers service to approximately 150 destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, from Continental's hubs in Houston, Newark and Cleveland. ExpressJet operates exclusively as a Continental Express carrier, while Chautauqua also operates flights as Delta Connection, United Express, US Airways Express, and American Connection.


History of Continental Express

Continental Express/ExpressJet was at one time a wholly-owned subsidiary of Continental Airlines, Inc. In this previous incarnation before its divestiture Continental Express flew turbo-prop aircraft such as the EMB-120 Brasilia, ATR-42/72 and Beech 1900. Continental Express/ExpressJet was formed through the merger of four separate commuter airlines that were wholly owned by Continental: Provincetown-Boston Airlines, of Hyannis, MA, Bar Harbor Airlines, of Bangor, ME, Britt Airways, of Terre Haute, IN, and Rocky Mountain Airways, of Denver, CO. As part of the consolidation of the four commuter operations, the PBA and Rocky Mountain operating certificates were retired. The Bar Harbor certificate went to Eastern Airlines for its Florida Eastern Express division. The combined company that became Continental Express/ExpressJet, operated and still operates under the Britt Airways operating Certificate. The callsign for the combined airline initially became "jetlink" for years, before it changed to expressjet.

Continental Express was formed in 1987. Since the 1978 deregulation of the U.S. airline industry, U.S. carriers increasingly contracted flying to smaller destinations to small regional carriers; David Messing, a spokesperson with Continental Airlines Holdings in 1991, said that Continental Express was formed because, from a business standpoint, having one subsidiary airline for Continental was preferable to the previous scenario of numerous agreements with various smaller airlines.[1]

In the 1990s the airline was headquartered in the Gateway II office complex near the grounds of Houston Intercontinental Airport in Houston.[2][3][4]

On Thursday September 4, 1997, Continental Express had its first regional jet flight. On Sunday September 7, 1997 Continental Express moved its operations at Bush Intercontinental Airport from Terminal C to Terminal B.[5]

In the past, other airlines that have operated non-jet aircraft using the Continental Express name were: Trans-Colorado Airlines of Denver, CO, Royale Airlines of Shreveport, LA, Air New Orleans, of New Orleans, LA, Mid-Pacific Airlines, of Honolulu, HI, City Express, of Toronto, Ontario, Colgan Airways, of Manassas, VA, Southern Jersey Airways, of Atlantic City New Jersey, and Gull Air, of Hyannis, MA, have operated non-jet aircraft using the Continental Express brand name. Emerald Airlines, of Houston, TX, and Presidential Airways, of Washington DC operated regional jet flights under the Continental Express marketing name.

Continental Connection

Continental Airlines now contracts with other airlines such as Cape Air, of Barnstable, MA, CommutAir, of South Burlington, VT, Gulfstream International, of Dania Beach, FL, and Colgan Air, of Manassas, VA to operate non-jet aircraft as Continental Connection on short-haul routes. The "Continental Connection" brand name is now used to identify non-jet, hosted codeshare airlines, while "Continental Express" is used as the marketing name for regional jet hosted codeshare airlines.

GP Express, of Grand Island, NE, and American Eagle Airlines, of Los Angeles, CA, and SkyWest Airlines of St. George, UT have operated non-jet aircraft as Continental Connection in the past.


Other Continental Subsidiary Airline Operations

Two additional airlines worthy to note here which operated in connection with Continental Airlines were New York Air, of New York, New York, and Continental West, of Los Angeles, CA. New York Air began operations in 1980 between Boston, New York/LaGuardia, and Washington/National, while Continental West started in 1985, operating an hourly shuttle between Los Angeles and San Jose. Both airlines were started by Continental's holding company, Texas Air, in an effort to operate low cost flights, and were both folded into Continental in 1986.

Another interesting and little known "subsidiary" operation of Continental was Continental Newark. On September 15, 1986, Continental acquired People Express Airlines, along with its subsidiaries PBA and Britt Airways. Almost immediately, Continental began operating the People Express 747s as codeshare flights under both the CO and PE airline codes between Newark, Los Angeles and Honolulu. On February 1, 1987, the People Express name went away, and it appeared to be merged together with Continental, but in reality, Continental was not able to complete certification of the merger that quickly. Continental painted all of the People Express planes in Continental livery, but the airplanes continued to operate under the People Express certificate. People Express flight crews remained isolated in the Newark hub operating the People Express aircraft, and now worked for this new separate division of Continental called "Continental Newark." Other than a small placard in the front of each aircraft, indicating "this aircraft operated by People Express Airlines" there was nothing to tell that it was People Express. Once the airplanes were approved to fly on the Continental Certificate, the People Express certificate, along with the "Continental Newark" division went away.

Incidents and accidents


The largest operator of ERJs is ExpressJet, under the colors of Continental Express.
Embraer ERJ 145 operated by ExpressJet d. b. a. Continental Express

ExpressJet Holdings announced on December 28, 2005 that they received notice from Continental Airlines of its intention to reduce by 69 the number of aircraft ExpressJet will operate for Continental under the companies' capacity purchase agreement. Per the agreement, ExpressJet could return the aircraft to Continental, or lease them from Continental at a higher rate and operate as a regional feeder for another airline.

As announced by Continental, the withdrawal of aircraft from the agreement was expected to begin in January 2007 and be completed during summer 2007. Simultaneously, Continental announced its intention to request proposals from other regional carriers to lease and operate the returned aircraft, beginning in January 2007. Continental announced in April 2006 that Chautauqua Airlines had been awarded a contract to operate the 69 aircraft owned by Continental.

ExpressJet later announced their intention to maintain operating the 69 aircraft independently, at increased lease rates. As such, scrambled with much difficulty to find suitable 50-seat aircraft to cover their obligations. Chautauqua was forced to add a new fleet type because ExpressJet retained their ERJs.

In July 2006, Continental Airlines announced a new contract, in which Chautauqua Airlines will provide and operate regional jets as a Continental Express carrier.[8] As of 2009, Continental Express consists of 214 aircraft operated by ExpressJet Airlines, and 20 aircraft operated by Chautauqua Airlines.

By 2008 however, ExpressJet decided to end all of its independent flying and operate all flights once again as a Continental Express carrier.


  1. ^ Boisseau, Charles. "Crash in Colorado County/Express gives Continental a longer reach." Houston Chronicle. Thursday September 12, 1991. A13. Retrieved on August 23, 2009.
  2. ^ World Airline Directory. Flight International. March 24-30, 1993. 84.
  3. ^ World Airline Directory. Flight International. March 25-31, 1998. 63.
  4. ^ World Airline Directory. Flight International. March 17-23, 1999. 71.
  5. ^ Boisseau, Charles. "Continental Express starts its jet service/Flight comes days before move at Houston airport." Houston Chronicle. Friday September 5, 1997. Business 1. Retrieved on August 23, 2009.
  7. ^ ASN Aircraft accident description Embraer 120RT Brasilia N33701 - Eagle Lake, TX
  8. ^ Continental picks Chautauqua for regional jets

External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address