Continental Airlines released details today of the reductions in flying that were announced last week. These actions are among the many difficult steps the airlines is taking to respond to record-high fuel prices that are creating unprecedented challenges for the airline industry.
Starting in September, at the conclusion of the peak summer season, Continental will reduce capacity from its hubs, resulting in an 11 percent decline of domestic mainline capacity (available seat miles, or ASMs) in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period last year. The changes will result in a 6.4 percent decline in consolidated (mainline plus regional) capacity in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period last year.
Beginning September 3, 2008, Continental will be reducing frequencies in certain markets and will also discontinue service between its hubs and cities or airports, which will result in the closing of 15 stations in the US, Indonesia, Colombia, Germany, Ecuador and Mexico.
As announced last week, Continental Airlines will eliminate 3,000 positions across all work groups, including management positions, through voluntary and involuntary separations, with the majority of them expected to be through voluntary programs. The specific number of involuntary furloughs will not be determined until August, after the company knows how many co-workers elect to take advantage of voluntary programs.
The company will work with furloughed/terminated co-workers to provide information on benefits and other employment opportunities available to them. In the case where suppliers and vendors are affected by capacity reductions, Continental will work with them to determine if there are other job opportunities for their affected employees.
Continental customers who are currently booked on flights previously scheduled to operate on or after September 3 that are affected by the capacity reductions, will be contacted by the airlines to make alternate arrangements.