Continental Promotes Expanded Global Routes

CHICAGO Continental Airlines will tout the strength of its Newark Liberty International Airport hub to business travelers in the New York and New Jersey market with a “Work hard, fly right” campaign breaking this week.

The effort, via The Kaplan Thaler Group in New York, includes television, print and outdoor, all emphasizing that the airline has more international destinations than any domestic carrier. Spending was not disclosed.

A TV spot features a Continental pilot telling a United Nations-like assembly about the carrier’s plethora of offshore destinations. A second spot will flag the BusinessFirst service with sleeper seats, personal entertainment system and gourmet meals. A taxi top message proclaims that the carrier has more routes to Asia than American and Delta airlines combined.

Other campaign components such as “Belfaster” and “Hamburg Helper” signage will draw attention to direct flights to Belfast, Ireland, and Hamburg, Germany, and more offshore opportunities for earning miles in the OnePass frequent flyer program. This month, Continental also will market its new service to Beijing, China, with seven weekly round trips.

Weak domestic fares and high fuel costs pushed Continental $363 million in the red for 2004. The airline’s senior management and board of directors, which is pushing for pay and benefit concessions from employees, recently cut its own compensation by 20 percent to 30 percent and announced that they refused 2004 bonuses and will forego 2005 stock option grants.