Continental to fly direct to Newark

The airline plans to start the Honolulu service in June

By Russ Lynch

Continental Airlines plans to begin daily nonstop service in June between Honolulu and Newark International Airport, the only direct flight connection between Hawaii and the New York City area.

Continental today said the service, using a 242-seat DC-10 aircraft, will begin June 11. The flight will last about 10 hours.

A formal announcement of the new service was made this morning in the office of Gov. Ben Cayetano, who praised Continental for making it easier for Hawaii's tourist industry to tap into the big potential of the New York market.

Newark Airport in New Jersey is a popular alternative to New York's airports.

"Continental's investment in operating this new nonstop service and marketing Hawaii to attract more East Coast visitors will make a difference in helping our economy grow," Cayetano said in a statement.

Tony Vericella, president of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, said Continental's move fits well with the 1998 objectives of the HVCB and its neighbor island chapters, calling for aggressive marketing to potential travelers in northeastern United States and Europe.

Vericella said residents of those areas are good customers for Hawaii because they generally stay longer and spend more than most tourists.

Continental is working with the HVCB to develop a major New York City promotion at the time of the inaugural flight. Continental Vacations, the airline's tour-packaging arm, is offering mainlanders a five-night Hawaii stay for as little as $699, including the Newark-Honolulu round-trip fare, hotel accommodations and airport transfers.

Continental is promoting its connections from Newark, a major hub for the airline, to Europe and at this end, its Pacific connections.

The daily flight from Newark will continue on to Guam, Manila and other points in East Asia, the airline said.

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