Continental Airlines has citied high fuel prices and
disruptions caused by Hurricane Ike for its US$236 million quarterly loss, compared to a US$241 million profit in the year-earlier quarter. The airline also said it will push back the delivery of a number of Boeing planes due to declining capacity.“My co-workers did a great job working through significant operational challenges this past quarter,” said Larry Kellner, Continental’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Despite several severe storms, including Hurricane Ike, affecting both our employees’ personal lives and our operations, we worked together to deliver a superb product.”
Continental estimates that the adverse impact of Hurricane Ike on operating results in the third quarter of 2008 was approximately $50 million.
Total revenue for the quarter was $4.2 billion, an increase of 8.8 percent ($336 million) over the same period in 2007. Passenger revenue for the quarter grew 7.1 percent ($249 million) compared to the third quarter of last year, and includes a $27 million increase in revenue related to a reduction in the company’s frequent flyer liability.
“We had solid revenue performance in an exceedingly difficult operating environment,” said Jeff Smisek, Continental’s president and chief operating officer. “Despite four hurricanes and two tropical storms, our team took care of our customers and delivered on the revenue.”
Consolidated revenue passenger miles (RPMs) for the quarter decreased 2.3 percent year-over-year on a slight decrease in capacity of 0.1 percent, resulting in a third quarter consolidated load factor of 82.0 percent, 1.8 points below the third quarter record set in 2007.
Consolidated yield for the quarter increased 9.6 percent year-over-year. Consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (RASM) for the quarter increased 7.3 percent year-over-year due to increased yields.