Continental Airlines markets its non-stop flights from Mumbai to New York

Mumbai: The world's fifth largest airline, Continental Airlines, has started its daily, non-stop service between Mumbai and its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

Speaking at a press event to announce the service, Jeffery Smisek, president, Continental Airlines said, "As the airline which pioneered non-stop flights between India and the US, Continental is proud to expand our network to India's business capital." Smisek was also one of the first travellers on board the inaugural eastbound flight to Mumbai.

"We are confident that our award-winning service, together with the unique connectivity offered by our New York hub, will make Continental the first choice for trans-Atlantic travellers from this great city", he added.

In 2005, Continental had launched a Delhi-New York direct service, the first-ever scheduled non-stop long-haul flight between India and US.

Landing at its hub at Newark Liberty International Airport, Continental is also able to leverage the flight to route travellers to all the 230 other places it flies to across the Americas.

The Mumbai-New York flight is operated using a 285-seat Boeing 777 aircraft, with a 50-passenger capacity in the BusinessFirst cabin, and 235 in Economy. Initially flying four times a week, flight CO49 will take off from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, at 11:45 pm It would arrive at New York Liberty at 6:30 a.m. the following day.

The return New York - Mumbai flight, numbered CO48, departs New York Liberty on Mondays and Sundays, at 7:20 pm , arriving at Mumbai at 7:40 pm the next day. Take off times for the flight change on Fridays and Saturdays, with it departing from New York Liberty at 8:00 pm, landing at Mumbai at 8:20 pm the following day.

Flying times are approximately 16 hours 15 minutes westbound, and 14 hours 50 minutes eastbound.

Continental will start its daily schedule from 28 October (westbound).

Newark Liberty International Airport is located 25km from downtown Manhattan, and offers on of the fastest surface transfer journeys to many parts of the city, including the AirTrain service to New York Penn Station in midtown Manhattan, with a journey time of less than 30 minutes.

A partnership between Continental and US Helicopter Corporation provides helicopter service between Liberty International's Terminal C and two Manhattan locations - the Downtown Manhattan Heliport at Wall Street and the East 34th Street Heliport in Midtown - each with a journey time of eight minutes.

Passengers arriving at Liberty International aboard Continental flights from Mumbai can use exclusive immigration and customs facilities in Terminal C3.

Continental's India flights have been customised for India, with two Bollywood movie channels featured on the in-flight entertainment system, different programming provided in each direction for all customers to access on their individual seat monitors.

Traditional Indian music has been incorporated in the world music audio channel. Instructional videos, including the safety and arrival video and pre-recorded announcements, are available in Hindi.

Importantly, in-flight menus are available in English and Hindi, with the in-flight meals customise to include Indian vegetarian and Indian non-vegetarian choices, designed by Indian chefs based in the US and in India . No beef is served as part of the in-flight catering.