Another big cutback as Continental slashes


The other shoe: it doesn’t take long for the other shoe to drop. A day after United announced its huge cutbacks, fleet grounding and staff furloughs, Continental Airlines came out with another mass cutback. ABC News, one of the country’s largest television networks, chatted with Left Field about the United and Continental cutbacks and you read a version of the talk here. Alas, you can’t see it, for copyright reasons.

Continental’s will take 3,000 places (out of a total of about 42,000 jobs) and 67 aircraft, with most of the jobs, they hope, coming either voluntarily or through attrition. The cuts will all be Boeing 737-300 and -500s, with 37 out by the end of this year and 30 next year; 27 of these 67 will be out by the end of September. The airline continues to take delivery of 737-800s and -900ERs, with 16 in the year’s second half and 18 next year. So Continental’s fleet will shrink from 375 mainline plans at the end of the second half to 356 in September and 344 at the end of next year.

But the most important change is symbolic.


It has yet to decide the mix of these newest Boeing models, although the -900ER, we think, wins because it is a virtual replacement for the 757-200, with range that covers Seattle to Orlando or Boston to San Francisco with about 180 seats in two classes. Perhaps as importantly although symbolic, Larry Kellner, the chief executive, and Jeff Smisek, the president, have declined their salaries for the rest of this year and have declined any payment under the annual incentive programs for the year. (Please take note, Glenn and Gerard).


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