CONTINENTAL AIRLINES
(USA)

It was in recent time that Continental became a real challenger for other US-airlines, although the airline is one of the world's oldest, dating back from 1926. After American, United and National, Continental became the fourth costumer for the DC-10-10, introducing the first aircraft in June of 1972. Later, Continental became the launch costumer for the DC-10-10CF (and with 8 of nine aircraft the main costumer) and decided to phase out every aircraft except the 727-200 and DC-10. For this purpose, more 727s and DC-10s were ordered and for a short time, also only these two types were operated. In total 49 DC-10s were operated, making Continental the fifth largest DC-10 operator of all times.
Only one DC-10, N68045, was lost in 1978. Losses at the beginning of the 1980s, as a result of the deregulation, forced Continental to dispose of some DC-10-10CFs. The 1980s were full of crisis for Continental, but throughout this time, the DC-10, especially the new ordered DC-10-30, became the workhorse of the fleet serving the high density routes as well as the intercontinental services. Thanks to Gordon Bethune and his team, Continental became one of the fastest growing airlines all over the world so that a large number of DC-10-30s from difference sources were added to serve the new routes. After the series 10 aircraft had been transferred to its subsidiary Continental Micronesia, the DC-10-30 became the only long range widebody aircraft until the 777 arrived in 1998. In late 1999 the first DC-10s left the fleet with more 777s arriving making Continentalís fleet one of the youngest among the US trunk carriers. The retirement of the last DC-10 in September 2001 came somewhat surprinsing and was a consequence of the shock on the airline industry after the terror attacks from September 11th of the same year. #190 had the honour of doing the last revenue flight for Continental while #88 was the last one to be retired. The Boeing 777 and the 767-200/400 series took over the routes from the DC-10. Other fleet members are 737-300/500/700/800/900, MD-80 and 757-200/300.
Note that some of Continentals DC-10s wore CO colors on one side while the other side was painted in the colors of another airline. Schemes from VASP and Alitalia are known.

Photos
Upper Right: Continental Airlines DC-10 - BY THOMAS MILLARD
Left: Continental Airlines DC-10 - BY RAFAL SZCZYPEK
Lower Right: Continental Airlines DC-10 in old color scheme - BY ANDREW ABSHIER


Following aircraft were operated by or for Continental Airlines (Please note that they are sorted by fleet numbers which are also the last three digits in the registration):

RegistrationAircraftFleetnr./NameOperated from - toWhere is it now?
N6804146900/ 3404114.04.1972 - 04.1994Arrow Air
N6804246901/ 4004222.05.1972 - ????-stored-
N6804346902/ 4104314.04.1972 - ????-stored-
N6804446903/ 4304409.06.1972 - 24.05.1994 and
???? - 1999
TAB Cargo
N6804546904/ 4404520.05.1972 - 01.03.1978WRITTEN OFF
N6804647800/ 9204612.04.1973 - 01.10.1994SCRAPPED
N6804747801/ 9804710.05.1973 - 01.05.1994 and
???? - 1999
WRITTEN OFF
N6804847802/ 10104823.05.1973 - 1981 and
11.1981 - 15.06.1989
-stored-
N6804947803/ 13904904.02.1974 - 21.05.1981FedEx
N6805047804/ 14205004.03.1974 - 15.09.1980FedEx
N6805147805/ 14505108.04.1974 - 05.11.1986FedEx
N6805247806/ 14805211.04.1974 - 14.04.1983FedEx
N6805347807/ 17305318.02.1975 - 14.04.1983FedEx
N6805447808/ 17705410.03.1975 - 19.03.1980FedEx
N6805547809/ 19105517.03.1975 - 03.03.1980WRITTEN OFF
N6805647810/ 19405624.03.1975 - 10.10.1986FedEx
N6806047850/ 331060, Robert F. Six28.08.1980 - 17.11.1999-stored-
N1206147851/ 334061, Richard M. Adams25.09.1980 - 11.11.1999-stored-
N3878M
N14062
47863/ 9406227.04.1984 - 2001-stored-
N3878F
N14063
47864/ 12106318.06.1984 - 2001SCRAPPED
N390EA
N12064
47862/ 8806409.10.1986 - 01.10.2001SCRAPPED
N6806546590/ 266065, Robert D. Gallaway22.05.1987 - 12.2000Avient
N1306646591/ 28706605.06.1987 - 18.05.2001SCRAPPED
N391EA
N12067
47866/ 14906721.09.1990 - 10.2000 and
???? - 15.04.2001
SCRAPPED
N392EA
N41068
47867/ 17806828.09.1990 - 30.11.1993 and
???? - 02.12.2000
-stored-
N1506946584/ 29306902.08.1992 - 2001-stored-
PK-GIA46918/ 22307011.1985 - 18.04.1987-stored-
N8707048292/ 36807015.05.1992 - 2001SCRAPPED
PK-GIB46919/ 22607110.11.1985 - 25.06.1987-stored-
N8307148293/ 37107101.09.1992 - 31.05.2000-stored-
N1907246576/ 7307220.10.1986 - 01.07.2000SCRAPPED
N7607346940/ 14107314.04.1993 - 02.07.2000-stored-
N138AA
N14074
46911/ 18907419.01.1996 - 31.08.2001-stored-
N1407546922/ 22107526.04.1996 - 2000World Airways
EI-DLA46958/ 23207630.07.1996 - 2000SCRAPPED
N3707746981/ 25907709.1996 - 2001-stored-
N3707846926/ 9907830.10.1996 - 17.04.2001-stored-
N3707946927/ 10007920.03.1997 - 2001used for training purposes
N1208047981/ 18608010.12.1996 - 30.06.2001-stored-
N3908147861/ 7508102.03.1997 - 2001SCRAPPED
N4908247927/ 19008213.11.1996 - 06.09.2001Omni Air International
N5908347926/ 17008306.05.1997 - 2001Omni Air International
N6857X
N59084
47991/ 26108412.1996 - 02.12.2000SCRAPPED
N1708547957/ 20108530.05.1997 - 2001Omni Air International
N1308646917/ 21108612.11.1997 - 07.10.2000World Airways
N1708747928/ 19208714.11.1997 - 07.12.2000World Airways
N1308846850/ 6308808.10.1997 - 31.08.2001SCRAPPED
N525MD
N12089
46550/ 4608910.1997 - 11.04.2001-stored-
N533MD
N14090
46553/ 8209018.07.1997 - 30.11.2000-stored-


Following DC-10 aircraft have been written off during service with Continental Airlines:
N68045, 46904/ 44


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