Continental to exit 15 cities

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Continental Airlines will terminate 15 destinations worldwide as it reduces domestic mainline capacity by 11% to combat record fuel costs.

Effective 3 September, the SkyTeam alliance member will leave Oakland and Palm Springs, California; Tallahassee and Sarasota, Florida; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Reno, Nevada; Toledo, Ohio and Montgomery, Alabama.

International stations tagged for closure include Denpasar, Indonesia; Cali, Colombia; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Santiago, Dominican Republic; Monclova, Mexico and Cologne, Germany.

Schedule reductions will result in a 6.4% drop in consolidated capacity in the fourth quarter from the final quarter of 2007. 

Houston will see a 7.9% decrease in capacity with the following terminations: Hartford, Connecticut; Washington Dulles International airport; Monclova, Cali, Guayaquil, Chattanooga; Montgomery; Oakland; Palm Springs; Reno; Sarasota and Tallahassee.

New York Newark Liberty International airport will see a 3.2% capacity decline from the US major. It will lose service to Albuquerque, New Mexico; San Jose, California; Tucson, Arizona; Cologne; Santiago, Sarasota and Salt Lake City.

Continental will trim capacity by 13.1% in Cleveland. It will no longer offer flights to the following destinations: Austin; Birmingham; Charleston, South Carolina; Charleston, West Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; Des Moines; Detroit; Green Bay; Greensboro, North Carolina; Lexington, Kentucky; Little Rock; Memphis; Nashville; Norfolk, Virginia; Oklahoma City; Omaha; Ottawa, Canada; San Antonio; San Diego; Sarasota; Savannah, Georgia; Toledo; Tulsa, Oklahoma and Washington Dulles.

Continental will no longer connect Guam and Denpasar, representing a 21.5% capacity cut for the airline on Guam.

To support reductions in available seat miles, Continental will retire 67 Boeing 737-300 and -500 aircraft, in addition to six older aircraft already removed this year. The carrier leases a large portion of both types.

As a result, the carrier will cut 3,000 positions across all work groups, including management. Involuntary furloughs will be announced in August, after the company knows how many employees elect to take advantage of voluntary leave.