Air Canada welcomes Continental Airlines to Star Alliance

    Customers will have more route choices to U.S East Coast, Mexico and
    Central America

MONTREAL, Oct. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today welcomed Continental Airlines as it joins Star Alliance. Air Canada customers will now enjoy expanded travel options including codeshare flights to new destinations through Continental's hubs and network.

"Continental, one of the world's top carriers, further strengthens the customer benefits of Star Alliance, of which Air Canada is a founding member. Such partnerships offer not only access to a far broader network, but also a simpler travel experience, lounge access, priority services, and the ability to collect and redeem Aeroplan Miles, while also earning status miles that count towards Air Canada Top Tier status," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada, in New York City to welcome Continental as a Star Alliance partner. "For Air Canada customers, Continental's Newark and Cleveland hubs will create more options for travelling to the Eastern U.S. while its Houston hub will open new routes further south throughout Mexico and Central America."

"We are pleased to join the Canadian market leader Air Canada in the Star Alliance network," said Continental Chairman and CEO Larry Kellner. "As a founding member of Star Alliance and Canada's largest airline, Air Canada will offer Continental customers greater access to more points in Canada as well as other destinations around the world."

Effective immediately, the two airlines have a full reciprocal agreement in place for each other's frequent flyer program. As a result: Aeroplan members will have the ability to earn and redeem miles on Continental; Continental One Pass members will be able to earn and redeem miles on Air Canada; Air Canada Top Tier members will have the ability to access Star Alliance Gold and Silver benefits through Continental, including lounge and priority services; and Continental One Pass Elite members will have the ability to access Star Alliance Gold and Silver benefits through Air Canada, including lounge and priority services.

    About Air Canada

Montréal-based Air Canada provides scheduled and charter air transportation for passengers and cargo to more than 170 destinations on five continents. Canada's flag carrier is the 13th largest commercial airline in the world and serves 33 million customers annually. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, providing the world's most comprehensive air transportation network for Canadian domestic, transborder and international travel. As well, customers can collect Aeroplan miles for future awards through Canada's leading loyalty program.

In 2008, the readers of Business Traveler magazine voted Air Canada "Best In-Flight Services in North America," "Best Airline for Business Class Service in North America" and "Best North American Airline for International Travel."

    About Continental Airlines

Continental Airlines is the world's fifth largest airline. Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more than 2,400 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 130 domestic and 132 international destinations. Continental is a member of Star Alliance, which provides access to more than 900 additional points in 169 countries via 24 other member airlines. With more than 41,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with its regional partners, carries approximately 63 million passengers per year.

    About Star Alliance

The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 19,500 daily flights to 1,071 airports in 171 countries.

SOURCE Air Canada

For further information: For further information: Isabelle Arthur (Montréal), (514) 422-5788; Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto), (416) 263-5576; Angela Mah (Vancouver), (604) 270-5741;

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