HOUSTON, June 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/—Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL)
today reported a May 2002 systemwide jet load factor of 73.5 percent,
1.3 points above last year`s load factor. For May 2002, Continental reported
a domestic load factor of 75.2 percent and an international load factor of
For May 2002, Continental reported an on-time arrival rate of 86.0 percent
and a record completion factor of 99.9 percent. The record May completion
factor also tied February, March and April 2002 for the company record.
Continental also broke another company record with sixteen 100 percent
completion days in May. Its previous record was set in February 2002 with
fourteen 100 percent completion days.
In May 2002, Continental flew 5.1 billion jet revenue passenger miles
(RPMs) systemwide and 7.0 billion jet available seat miles (ASMs), resulting
in a traffic decrease of 8.3 percent and a capacity decrease of 9.9 percent as
compared to May 2001. Domestic traffic was 3.1 billion RPMs, down
10.5 percent from last year, and domestic capacity was 4.2 billion ASMs, down
12.7 percent from last year.
Lower year-over-year yields, mitigated somewhat by higher load factors,
resulted in an estimated decrease in systemwide jet passenger revenue per
available seat mile (RASM) of between 6 and 8 percent for May 2002, as
compared to May 2001. For April 2002, RASM declined 10.3 percent as compared
to April 2001. In order for Continental to be profitable in the second
quarter of 2002, based on current cost estimates, June 2002 RASM would have to
be approximately 14 percent higher as compared to June 2001. Based upon
recent RASM trends and RASM expectations for June 2002, the company does not
expect to be profitable in the second quarter of 2002.
In order to provide investors and employees a better understanding of
company financial performance, Continental has included consolidated breakeven
load factor data in the monthly performance release. Consolidated breakeven
load factor is being redefined by the company as the consolidated load factor
(including Continental Airlines and Continental Express) needed to breakeven
on a consolidated net income basis, rather than the more traditional approach
(which Continental has previously used in SEC filings) of calculating the load
factor required to breakeven on a pre-tax income basis.
Consolidated breakeven load factor for the month of May 2002 is estimated
to be 78.7 percent, or 5.7 points higher than the actual consolidated load
factor of 73.0 percent. Consolidated breakeven load factor for June 2002 is
estimated to be 79.5 percent. Actual consolidated breakeven load factor may
vary significantly from these estimates depending on actual passenger revenue
yields, fuel price and other factors. Month-to-date consolidated load factor
information can be found on Continental`s website at continental.com in the
Investor Relations-Financial/Traffic Releases section.
ExpressJet Airlines, a subsidiary of Continental Airlines doing business
as Continental Express, reported a load factor of 65.7 percent for May 2002,
0.4 points below last year`s May load factor. ExpressJet flew 344.0 million
RPMs and 523.9 million ASMs in May 2002, resulting in a traffic increase of
7.7 percent and a capacity increase of 8.4 percent versus May 2001.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are not
limited to historical facts, but reflect the Company`s current beliefs,
expectations or intentions regarding future events. In connection therewith,
please see the risk factors set forth in the Company`s 2001 10-K and its other
securities filings, which identify important matters such as terrorist
attacks, the significant cost of aircraft fuel, labor costs, currency risk,
competition and industry conditions, regulatory matters and the seasonal
nature of the airline business, that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those in the forward-looking statements.