Continental tops up pension pot

Continental Airlines has announced it will make an early contribution of an additional $35 million in cash to its defined benefit pension plans.This amount is in addition to a $71 million contribution made less than a month ago and is being made prior to the next required payment due date in April.
“We remain focused on meeting our pension commitments to our employees,” said Larry Kellner, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our company culture is strongly linked to our co-workers’ trust that we will meet these commitments now and in the future.”

This pension contribution will be made with the proceeds of recent sales of substantially all of Continental’s remaining shares of ExpressJet Airlines. The disposition of those shares was consistent with previous dispositions by the company of non-core assets. Continental will receive the proceeds from the last portion of its sales on Monday, Feb. 5, 2007, and will make its pension contribution on that date.

Since the beginning of 2002, Continental has contributed more than $1.2 billion to its pension plans.