Following a month in the shop at Hong Kong, Continental’s first Boeing 777-200 to be painted in the Star Alliance livery scheme arrived in Newark today, completing its first revenue flight in the new colors. This is the second plane to be done up in the new livery, following on the heels of a 757-200 that was painted in advance of the party celebrating Continental joining the alliance at the end of October.
The somewhat disappointing news for Continental passengers is that the plane, N78017 aka Ship #17, did not also receive the new lie-flat seats in its BusinessFirst cabin while in for the paint job. It apparently has to do with needing a delay in final certification of the first plane flying around with the seats before the others can be converted. The good news is that another plane, Ship #15, rolled into the maintenance hangar and is being fitted with the new seats now.
Speaking of the new seats and 757s, word is that the first 757-200 to receive the lie-flat BusinessFirst seats is also being worked on right now, with a hopeful return-to-service date of prior to Christmas. It is Ship #133, aka N17133, and it is currently undergoing the refit in Houston.