Continental Airlines has celebrated its 15th anniversary of services between Manchester and its New York hub, Newark Liberty International Airport. Almost 2.5 million passengers have flown with carrier on the twice daily route since its inception. “Of all the UK regional cities in our trans-Atlantic network we’ve served Manchester the longest, and we’re proud of the important role that we play in the city’s business and tourism infrastructure,” said Continental Airlines Senior Director Bob Schumacher. “In the last 15 years, other trans-Atlantic carriers have come and gone from Manchester, but we have stayed the course and built a loyal customer base. We offer travellers not only a year-round, non-stop link to New York but also, via our Newark Liberty hub, onward connections to more than 200 cities throughout the Americas, including more than 100 served non-stop.”Meanwhile, Manchester Airport’s Managing Director, Andrew Cornish, said: “The 15th anniversary of Continental Airlines’ service between Manchester and Newark Airports is a significant milestone for us and the airline. Since its launch, the Continental service has proven to be very popular with business and leisure passengers alike whether they are travelling to New York or taking advantage of the convenient and comprehensive onward connections offered by the airline from Newark. I would like to congratulate Continental Airlines on reaching this milestone and we look forward to supporting this vital connection between the UK and US for many years to come.”Continental launched its Manchester-New York service on July 20, 1995 (westbound) and operates a twice-daily service (11 flights per week during the winter) on the route using 175-seat Boeing 757-200 aircraft, carrying 16 passengers in the BusinessFirst cabin and 159 in Economy. The airline is currently installing new BusinessFirst seats on all its 757-200s, with completion scheduled for May 2011. The new seat, reclining 180 degrees and providing 6 feet 4 inches of sleeping space in the fully extended position, is one of the widest business-class seats in the air, measuring up to 25 inches when the adjustable armrest is positioned flush with the seat cushion.