(CNN) -- A captain on a Continental jet died Thursday midflight while flying from Brussels, Belgium, to Newark, New Jersey, the Federal Aviation Administration and Continental Airlines said. Continental said the 61-year-old Newark-based pilot died "apparently of natural causes." The pilot had 21 years of service with Continental, the airline said. FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac said Continental Flight 61 would receive priority when it arrives at Newark International Airport around noon ET. The airline said the crew on the flight included an additional relief pilot who took the place of the deceased man. The Boeing 777 is carrying 247 passengers, Continental said.