Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL)
today announced it will eliminate further pilot furloughs this year to
minimize pilot training and costs at Continental Express as a result of the
flow of pilots from Continental to Continental Express under a flow-through
Under terms of the flow-through agreement with Continental`s pilots,
furloughed Continental Airlines pilots have the option to work as pilots for
Continental Express, resulting in furloughs of existing Continental Express
pilots. Continental had previously announced a furlough of 100 Continental
pilots scheduled to begin in March. This furlough will not occur.
Continental Express had projected the inflow of these 100 Continental mainline
pilots would result in training and other costs for the subsidiary and
contribute to as many as 250 furloughs.
“By eliminating further pilot furloughs, Continental can avoid significant
training challenges at Continental Express while we focus on separating our
ownership interest in Continental Express,” said Capt. Deborah L. McCoy,
senior vice president of Continental`s Flight Operations.
Continental filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
last summer for an initial public offering of Continental Express, but decided
to postpone the offering after Sept. 11. Continental recently announced that
it intends to continue pursuing a strategy of separating the ownership of
Continental and Continental Express, while noting that the structure and terms
of the offering will be revised and that timing of an IPO is uncertain.
Since capacity at Continental was reduced following Sept. 11, Continental
has furloughed a total of 439 pilots from mainline operations. Of this
number, 233 pilots took positions at Continental Express, contributing to the
furlough of 386 Continental Express pilots.
Continental does not anticipate that its decision will affect its
previously announced guidance concerning 2002 capacity.