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Menu will include wide variety of high quality, healthy food choices

Continental Airlines to offer food for purchase on select flights

Continental Airlines will change its in-flight meal service this fall by introducing a variety of high quality, healthy food choices for purchase in economy class on many U.S./Canada and certain Latin American routes. The airline will continue to offer complimentary food in the economy cabin on all intercontinental and certain other international routes, and on long-haul domestic routes over six hours.

Continental will also continue its award-winning complimentary food in the front cabin (first class and BusinessFirst) on routes worldwide. New first-class lunch sandwiches (such as a chicken parmesan Tuscan sandwich) and updated first-class dinner pasta dishes (such as spinach & cheese cannelloni with pomodoro sauce) will debut April 1.

"We are improving our economy meal service with a high-quality, industry-leading food-for-purchase program that is consistent with the strong brand image and high service standards for which our customers recognize us," said Jim Compton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "Our traditional free-food model has served us well for many years, but we need to change to reflect today’s market and customer preferences."

Menu choices and pricing are currently in development and will be announced prior to implementation. Continental will offer food and snack selections that are appropriate for the length of the flight and the time of day. Traditional non-alcoholic beverages and accompanying snacks like pretzels will continue to be complimentary on every Continental flight.

All of Continental’s significant U.S. competitors either do not offer food or have already implemented food sales for economy class travelers.

The airline is continuing to invest in services and amenities that customers value. For instance, Continental is deploying DIRECTV live television service and new flat-bed BusinessFirst seats. GoGo inflight internet service will make its debut on Continental later this year.

Continental Airlines is the world’s fifth largest airline. Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more than 2,500 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 133 domestic and 135 international destinations. Continental is a member of Star Alliance, which overall offers 19,700 daily flights to 1,077 airports in 175 countries through its 26 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.

Continental consistently earns awards and critical acclaim for both its operation and its corporate culture. For nine consecutive years, FORTUNE magazine has ranked Continental as the top U.S. airline on its "World’s Most Admired Companies" airline industry list.

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