Continental Airlines today reported a February systemwide mainline load
factor of 70.2 percent, 1.3 points above last year’s February load factor.
The airline had a February domestic mainline load factor of 70.6 percent,
0.4 points below February 2003, and an international mainline load factor
of 69.5 percent, 3.7 points above February 2003.
During the month, Continental recorded a U.S. Department of Transportation
on-time arrival rate of 79.9 percent and a systemwide mainline completion
factor of 99.7 percent.
In February 2004, Continental flew 4.5 billion mainline revenue passenger
miles (RPMs) and 6.4 billion mainline available seat miles (ASMs)
systemwide, resulting in a traffic increase of 13.9 percent and a capacity
increase of 11.7 percent as compared to February 2003. Domestic mainline
traffic was 2.7 billion RPMs in February 2004, up 11.4 percent from
February 2003, and domestic mainline capacity was 3.8 billion ASMs, up
12.0 percent from February 2003. Without the extra Leap Year day in
February, these traffic and capacity increases would have been about three
For January 2004, systemwide mainline RASM increased 0.9 percent as
compared to January 2003. Systemwide February 2004 mainline passenger
revenue per available seat mile (RASM) is estimated to have decreased
between 2.5 and 3.5 percent compared to February 2003. The February
year-over-year RASM decline was partly attributable to Continental’s
strong performance relative to the industry during February last year, and
the poor performance this year of the very competitive transcontinental
markets, where RASM declined an estimated 25 to 30 percent as compared to
February of last year. Further, in February 2004, transcontinental markets
accounted for 12.3 percent of domestic capacity compared to 9.8 percent in
Continental’s regional operations (Continental Express) set a record
February load factor of 63.1 percent, 0.9 points above last year’s
February load factor. Regional RPMs were 486.6 million and regional ASMs
were 770.7 million in February 2004, resulting in a traffic increase of
47.0 percent and a capacity increase of 44.8 percent versus February 2003.