Coninental Airlines is inaugurating on November 16 the first daily scheduled passenger service between Texas and Africa, with a new nonstop flight between Houston...

United Continental Holdings, Inc. is inaugurating on November 16 the first daily scheduled passenger service between Texas and Africa, with a new nonstop flight between Houston and Lagos in Nigeria.

The service, operated by Continental Airlines, links the two energy capitals on a route which no other airline currently serves.

“The new flights offer convenient nonstop access to Lagos for travelers from Houston’s vibrant energy sector and large Nigerian community, reducing roundtrip travel time between the two cities by more than six hours,” says Jim Compton, United’s executive vice president and chief revenue officer. “In addition, our Houston hub provides fast and easy connections from destinations across the U.S., and throughout Canada and Latin America.”

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Continental’s flight CO142 is timed to depart Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) at 7:05 p.m. and arrive at Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) in Lagos at 1:40 p.m. the following day, local time.

In the other direction, flight CO143 is scheduled to leave LOS at 11:05 p.m. and land at IAH at 5:25 a.m. the following day, local time.

Flying times are approximately 11 hours, 35 minutes for the nonstop eastbound sector and 13 hours, 20 minutes for the nonstop westbound leg. The westbound flight takes nearly two hours longer because the Earth rotates in a clockwise direction and so the high-altitude jetstream winds blow in the other direction, from the west to the east.

Although United Continental plans eventually to operate the service with Boeing 787s when it receives them, Continental is initially operating the Houston-Lagos flights using Boeing 777-200ER widebodies.

Each 777-200ER is fitted with a total of 276 passenger seats – 50 in BusinessFirst and 226 in Economy class. Continental’s 777-200ERs feature new flat-bed seats in their BusinessFirst cabins.

United Continental says its BusinessFirst flat-bed seat, reclining 180 degrees and providing 6 feet 6 inches of sleeping space in the fully extended position, is one of the widest business-class seats in the air, measuring up to 27 inches when the adjustable armrest is positioned flush with the seat cushion.

In addition to the flat-bed seat, BusinessFirst amenities include a state-of-the-art personal inflight entertainment system, gourmet menu selections (with Nigerian cuisine options on westbound flights) and an extensive wine and champagne selection.

Economy class seating on Continental’s 777s is in a 3-3-3 configuration, with wider-than-usual aisles. All seats on the Boeing 777 feature an Audio/Video On Demand (AVOD) in-flight entertainment system, which enables customers to choose from 250 movies, 300 TV shows and 3,000 audio tracks with a jukebox feature to make individual playlists.

In addition, this entertainment system has 25 video games and the interactive Berlitz Word Traveler foreign language program.  All seat rows are equipped with in-seat power outlets, which do not require an adapter.

Lagos is the economic, commercial and cultural center of Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa

The metropolitan area of Lagos, an estimated 300 square kilometers located on the Atlantic coast of Africa, is a group of islands endowed with creeks and a lagoon. Lagos is Nigeria’s leading port, particularly for imports of consumer goods, foodstuffs, motor vehicles, machinery and industrial raw materials, and Lagos’ mainland suburbs are home to more than half of Nigeria’s industrial capacity.

United Continental Holdings, Inc. is the parent holding company for both United Airlines and Continental Airlines. Together with United Express, Continental Express and Continental Connection, these airlines operate an average of 5,717 flights a day to 376 airports on six continents from their hubs in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark Liberty, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington, D.C.

Both Continental and United are members of Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, which offers more than 21,200 daily flights to 1,185 airports in 185 countries.

United and Continental have more than 80,000 employees, residing in every U.S. state and in many countries around the world. When United and Continental complete their operational merger under the United name, the resulting airline will be the biggest in the world.