Continental Airlines reported a September consolidated (mainline plus regional) load factor of 76.5 percent, 2.5 points below the September 2007 consolidated load factor, and a mainline load factor of 77.4 percent, 1.8 points below the September 2007 mainline load factor.
Houston – In addition, the carrier reported a domestic mainline September load factor of 78.5 percent, 2.6 points below the September 2007 domestic mainline load factor, and an international mainline load factor of 76.3 percent, 0.9 points below September 2007.
During the month, Continental recorded a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on-time arrival rate of 82.1 percent and a mainline segment completion factor of 94.4 percent. Continental’s operational performance was negatively impacted by Hurricane Ike in mid-September.
In September 2008, Continental flew 6.5 billion consolidated revenue passenger miles (RPMs) and 8.5 billion consolidated available seat miles (ASMs), resulting in a consolidated traffic decrease of 10.9 percent and a capacity decrease of 8.1 percent as compared to September 2007. In September 2008, Continental flew 5.8 billion mainline RPMs and 7.5 billion mainline ASMs, resulting in a mainline traffic decrease of 10.9 percent and a mainline capacity decrease of 8.8 percent as compared to September 2007. Domestic mainline traffic was 2.9 billion RPMs in September 2008, down 16.2 percent from September 2007, and domestic mainline capacity was 3.7 billion ASMs, down 13.4 percent from September 2007.
For September 2008, consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (RASM) is estimated to have increased between 8.0 and 9.0 percent compared to September 2007, while mainline passenger RASM is estimated to have increased between 9.0 and 10.0 percent compared to September 2007. For August 2008, consolidated passenger RASM increased 5.3 percent compared to August 2007, while mainline passenger RASM increased 6.1 percent compared to August 2007.
Continental ended the third quarter with an unrestricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments balance of approximately $2.76 billion. This balance excludes all student loan-related auction rate securities.
Continental’s regional operations had a September load factor of 69.5 percent, 7.0 points below the September 2007 regional load factor. Regional RPMs were 665.3 million and regional ASMs were 957.7 million in September 2008, resulting in a traffic decrease of 10.6 percent and a capacity decrease of 1.5 percent versus September 2007.