Continental traffic rises in January

Guest Writer

HOUSTON, Feb. 1, 2010 - Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today reported a January consolidated (mainline plus regional) load factor of 77.2 percent, 4.0 points above the January 2009 consolidated load factor, and a mainline load factor of 78.0 percent, 4.0 points above the January 2009 mainline load factor. Both January load factors were records for the month.  The carrier reported a domestic mainline January load factor of 78.2 percent, 1.6 points above the January 2009 domestic mainline load factor, and a record international mainline load factor of 77.8 percent, 6.1 points above January 2009. 

During January, Continental recorded a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on-time arrival rate of 82.3 percent and a mainline segment completion factor of 99.5 percent.

In January 2010, Continental flew 7.0 billion consolidated revenue passenger miles (RPMs) and 9.0 billion consolidated available seat miles (ASMs), resulting in a consolidated traffic increase of 8.5 percent and a capacity increase of 2.8 percent as compared to January 2009. In January 2010, Continental flew 6.3 billion mainline RPMs and 8.1 billion mainline ASMs, resulting in a mainline traffic increase of 8.6 percent and a mainline capacity increase of 3.1 percent as compared to January 2009. Domestic mainline traffic was 2.9 billion RPMs in January 2010, up 2.4 percent from January 2009, and domestic mainline capacity was 3.7 billion ASMs, up 0.2 percent from January 2009.

For January 2010, consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (RASM) is estimated to have decreased between 1.0 and 2.0 percent compared to January 2009, while mainline RASM is estimated to have decreased between 2.5 and 3.5 percent. For December 2009, consolidated passenger RASM decreased 4.1 percent compared to December 2008, while mainline passenger RASM decreased 4.8 percent compared to December 2008. 

Continental’s regional operations had a January load factor of 70.7 percent, 4.2 points above the January 2009 regional load factor. Regional RPMs were 696.8 million and regional ASMs were 984.9 million in January 2010, resulting in a traffic increase of 7.4 percent and a capacity increase of 0.9 percent versus January 2009.

Continental Airlines is the world’s fifth largest airline.  Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more than 2,500 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 133 domestic and 135 international destinations.   Continental is a member of Star Alliance, which overall offers 19,700 daily flights to 1,077 airports in 175 countries through its 26 member airlines. With more than 41,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with its regional partners, carries approximately 63 million passengers per year.

Continental consistently earns awards and critical acclaim for both its operation and its corporate culture.  For the sixth consecutive year, FORTUNE magazine named Continental the No. 1 World’s Most Admired Airline on its 2009 list of World’s Most Admired Companies. For more company information, go to

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