Continental Airlines celebrates its 75th anniversary this summer. Larry Anduha, Cerritos, California, resident and a self-proclaimed "Puerto Rican Hawaiian," has worked for the airline for 45 of those years.
Currently the Latino with the most seniority at Continental, Anduha is a quality control inspector. He served in the Air Force before joining the airline as a mechanic on June 21, 1964.
Anduha's grandparents moved to Hawaii around 1900, part of an exodus of agricultural workers who left Puerto Rico after the massive San Ciriaco hurricane devastated the agriculture there in 1899. Hawaiian sugar growers brought in the experienced workers for their plantations. Anduha, who believes the family name was changed from Andujar, recalls hearing his parents speak Spanish. Although only a few Spanish words remain in his vocabulary, he continues to be fond of Puerto Rican cultural traditions such as "pateles" (the Hawaiian pronunciation of "pasteles"), "panadijas" or meat pies, "gandule rice," Puerto Rican music and dance, and the United Puerto Rican Association's Three Kings Day celebration in Hawaii. He and his wife, Hedy Luna Harrison-Anduha, visited Puerto Rico for the first time a few years ago.
Now nearing retirement, Anduha has an associate's degree from Los Angeles City College and a bachelor's degree in economics from UCLA. He and his wife plan to stay in the Los Angeles area, for convenient vacation travel to Hawaii.
Continental has operated flights to Puerto Rico since December 1994 to Hawaii since 1969. The airline offers service to 70 destinations in 23 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including nonstop service to 29 destinations in Mexico ÔÇô more than any other airline. Continental also offers nonstop service to 10 Central American cities, and serves seven South American and 24 Caribbean destinations. A pioneer in "Latinization," Continental offers a number of Spanish-language services, including bilingual flight attendants on many flights to Latin America; bilingual airport personnel, reservations agents and signage; and a Spanish-language Web site at www.continental.com/espa??ol. Passengers also may make reservations in Spanish at 1-800-537-9222.
Continental Airlines will take delivery this week of a new Boeing 737-900ER, which is painted with a retro livery to commemorate the airline's 75th anniversary on July 15, 2009. The July issue of Continental's in-flight magazine will feature stories about the airline's history.
Continental Airlines is the world's fifth largest airline. Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more than 2,750 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 133 domestic and 132 international destinations. More than 750 additional points are served via current alliance partners. With more than 43,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with its regional partners, carries approximately 67 million passengers per year.