Continental Airlines today announced that it was named the “Best Airline in North America” at the 2008 OAG Airline of the Year Awards. This is the fifth straight year that Continental has received the award.

In addition, Continental was awarded the “Best Airline Finance Deal,” a new award category, recognizing the success of the airline’s April 2007 financing transaction, which raised $1.1 billion for the purchase of 30 new 737NG aircraft delivering in 2008.

The awards are based on votes by frequent flyers around the world who subscribe to OAG print and electronic travel information products. Bob Schumacher, Continental’s senior director for the United Kingdom and Ireland, accepted the awards on behalf of the airline at the ceremony in London.

Continental Airlines is the world’s fifth largest airline. Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more than 3,100 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 145 domestic and 138 international destinations. More than 550 additional points are served via SkyTeam alliance airlines. With more than 45,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with Continental Express, carries approximately 69 million passengers per year.

Continental consistently earns awards and critical acclaim for both its operation and its corporate culture. For the fifth consecutive year, FORTUNE magazine named Continental the No. 1 World’s Most Admired Airline on its 2008 list of World’s Most Admired Companies.