CONTINENTAL-UNITED BRINGS NEW LOOK TO PACIFIC

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Merger moves Continental logo to tail, keeps same service

By Giff Johnson MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Marianas Variety, March 30, 2011) - For 43 years, the north Pacific has been served by one airline — Continental Micronesia. But with the merger of Continental Micronesia’s parent company Continental with United Airlines establishing the world’s largest airline, the look of planes serving the Micronesia area is about to change.

By mid-year, Continental Micronesia planes will begin sporting a new look, with the word "United" replacing the Continental lettering as part of merger of these two air carriers. The Continental logo will remain on the tail of the planes, the only visible reminder of the carrier that first linked the remote Micronesian islands to Hawaii beginning in 1968.

But the new paint job soon to be seen on aircraft isn’t changing core services of the airline, including frequent flyer programs, according to a Continental official.

Koji Nagata, of Continental-United’s Asia-Pacific Communications department, said Monday that customers should not worry about the merger affecting frequent flyer programs.

"For the immediate future, we are operating as two separate carriers, and customers can expect to interact with us as they always have," he said.

"Customer miles and frequent flyer program status are safe, and customers will continue to earn and redeem miles."

Nagata said that added benefits from the merger are already being seen.

"Mileage Plus and OnePass elite members now enjoy preferred seating and upgrades on both carriers’ aircraft, and Red Carpet Club members and guests now enjoy complimentary alcoholic beverages and wireless access," he said.

"Customers will begin to see a more unified product throughout 2011 when our customer service and marketing activities are more integrated."

Continental links the islands of Majuro, Kwajalein, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Chuuk with Hawaii and Guam in the east and west, respectively.

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