Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today reported a record August systemwide mainline load factor of 82.2 percent for August 2003, 3.1 points above last year`s August load factor. In addition, the airline had a record August domestic mainline load factor of 82.2 percent, 3.6 points above August 2002, and an international mainline load factor of 82.3 percent, 2.5 points above August 2002.
During the month, Continental recorded a U.S. Department of Transportation on-time arrival rate of 79.8 percent and a systemwide completion factor of 99.7 percent for its mainline operations. Continental maintained strong reliability during the blackout, canceling only 30 flights for a 97.5 percent completion factor on Thursday, Aug. 14, and canceling only 15 flights for a 98.9 percent completion factor on Friday, Aug. 15.
“These operational results are outstanding by any standard, but our employees deserve special recognition for this performance in light of the massive power outages experienced in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada last month,” said President and COO Larry Kellner. “Our employees responded decisively to the power outages to keep Continental flying during the disruption and minimize the impact for our customers,” said Kellner.
In August 2003, Continental flew 5.9 billion mainline revenue passenger miles (RPMs) and 7.1 billion mainline available seat miles (ASMs) systemwide, resulting in a traffic increase of 1.7 percent and a capacity decrease of 2.3 percent as compared to August 2002. Domestic mainline traffic was 3.5 billion RPMs in August 2003, up 1.9 percent from August 2002, and domestic mainline capacity was 4.2 billion ASMs, down 2.5 percent from August 2002.
Systemwide August 2003 mainline passenger revenue per available seat mile (RASM) is estimated to have increased between 4 and 5 percent compared to August 2002. For July 2003, systemwide mainline passenger RASM increased 4.8 percent as compared to July 2002.
Continental`s regional operations (Continental Express) set a record August load factor of 70.7 percent for the month, 4.3 points above last year`s August load factor. Regional RPMs were 536.3 million and regional ASMs were 758.5 million in August 2003, resulting in a traffic increase of 46.3 percent and a capacity increase of 37.4 percent versus August 2002.
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. All forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. For examples of such risks and uncertainties, please see the risk factors set forth in the company`s 2002 10-K and its other securities filings, which identify important matters such as terrorist attacks, domestic and international economic conditions, the significant cost of aircraft fuel, labor costs, competition, regulatory matters and industry conditions, including the demand for air travel, the airline pricing environment and industry capacity decisions. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward- looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this press release.