Continental Airlines is planning to launch nonstop flights between Newark Liberty International Airport and Cairo International Airport, Egypt, beginning May 18, 2011, subject to...

Continental Airlines is planning to launch nonstop flights between Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Cairo International Airport (CAI), Egypt, beginning May 18, 2011, subject to government approval.

Cairo, the largest city in Africa and the Middle East, will be the 72nd international destination that Continental Airlines serves from its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and the 30th city in Continental’s transatlantic route network. Continental says it serves more nonstop destinations with more flights from the New York area than any other airline.

The capital of Egypt is the third new international destination Continental has announced since May. The airline plans to begin daily service from its Houston hub to Lagos, Nigeria, beginning November 10, 2011, and service to Auckland, New Zealand, beginning November 16, 2011, subject to government approval. It will fly both of the latter rootes with Boeing 787-8s and says it is the first airline to announce definitive route plans for the 787.

“We are excited to grow our international route network from the New York area by adding nonstop service to Cairo,” says Jeff Smisek, Continental’s chairman, president and CEO. “Continental’s new route will provide numerous opportunities for connections to dozens of destinations in Africa and the Middle East that are served by our Star Alliance partners.”

The largest aircraft in Continental Airlines' long-haul fleet is the Boeing 777-200ER. The airline operates more than 20 of the type, on its longest routes

On May 3, Continental announced that it had agreed to merge with United Airlines to create the world’s leading airline, though the deal must survive anti-trust scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Department of Justice. The success of the Newark-Cairo route would be enhanced by the additional traffic flows through Newark that are expected to result from the merger, according to Continental

In any case, says Continental, the Newark-Cairo route will benefit from connecting traffic at both ends. Cairo is home to Egyptair, one of the 28 carriers, including Continental, that are members of Star Alliance. Egyptair and its regional airline partners offer service to 41 destinations in Egypt, Africa and the Middle East, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Damascus, Istanbul, Aswan, Jeddah and Johannesburg.

The flight will be timed to provide convenient North American connections at Continental’s Newark Liberty hub to the West Coast as well as to 87 other cities throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

Continental will operate the approximately 5,600-mile flight with Boeing 777-200ERs, seating 50 customers in BusinessFirst with flat-bed seats and 226 customers in economy class. Flying time eastbound will be approximately 10 hours 25 minutes, and westbound will be approximately 12 hours 10 minutes, according to Continental.

The carrier plans to operate the route on a daily basis during peak summer travel season, with five- and four-times-weekly service during certain periods in the first year of operation.

In summer periods, the preliminary schedule for the new service calls for the flight to leave EWR at 5:30 p.m. and arrive at CAI at 10:55 a.m. the next day. In summer the return flight would depart CAI at 12:55 p.m. and reach EWR at 6:05 p.m. the same day.

The preliminary schedule for winter calls for the flight to leave EWR at 5:30 p.m. and arrive at CAI at 10:50 a.m. the return flight would leave CAI at 12:50 p.m. and land at EWR at 6:15 p.m.

Egypt is known as the cradle of civilization, and its capital, Cairo, is steeped in history and culture. One of the oldest cities on earth, Cairo has earned the nickname “Mother of the World.”

Cairo’s dual existence as one of the world’s fastest-growing urban areas and as a gateway to ancient world history makes it a prime destination for both business and leisure travelers. In the hustle and bustle of Cairo, whose streets are among the most crowded of any city in the world, visitors shop at bazaars and street markets, feast on local cuisine and get pampered at world-class resorts and spas. Ancient history can be explored in the surrounding desert. Guarded by the lion-bodied Sphinx, the Great Pyramids of Giza are the last remaining of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The Egyptian capital stretches along both banks of the River Nile. The hot desert climate remains consistent throughout most of the year, particularly during the summer months, in which Cairo sees endless sunny weather. While hot during the day, temperatures drop at night, especially outside the city in the desert and during the winter months.