Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today released an economic impact study by NERA Economic Consulting (NERA) describing the airline’s impact on the New York/New Jersey region coinciding with Continental’s 30th anniversary of service to the area and its recent entry to Star Alliance. The study showed that in 2008, Continental’s operations contributed more than $6.3 billion in gross regional product to the region and an estimated 110,000 jobs amounting to more than $5.9 billion in personal income. As the leading carrier in New York, Continental offers more seats and serves more nonstop destinations from the New York area than any other carrier.
The report estimated that of the 110,000 jobs currently being contributed by Continental to the region, approximately 30 percent are in New York City, 12 percent in the rest of New York state, 31 percent in the Newark region and 27 percent in the rest of New Jersey.
“As significant as these results are, this study does not measure the full economic impact of Continental’s presence,” said project director and senior vice president of NERA, Dr. David Harrison, Jr. “While the study measures aviation employment and passenger expenditures, including multiplier effects, it does not include other important aspects of Continental operations on the community. It is clear from the data that Continental’s presence makes the New York/New Jersey region a more attractive region for businesses to relocate or expand their operations due to the reduction in the cost of doing business associated with access to air travel.”
Even excluding those substantial effects, the NERA analysis estimated that by 2030, Continental’s contribution would account for $11 billion in personal income and $12 billion in gross regional product, nearly double Continental’s contribution in 2008.
“On behalf of my more than 41,000 co-workers, we are pleased that Continental is making such a meaningful contribution in one of the most important regions for our company and our country,” said Larry Kellner, Continental chairman and chief executive officer. “As the first member of the Star Alliance with a major hub in the New York City area, Continental will be connecting the region with 24 other carriers in a global alliance that offers more than 18,900 flights a day to 983 cities in 169 countries.”
Continental commissioned NERA Economic Consulting (NERA) to conduct the study. NERA, one of the foremost global economic research organizations with extensive experience in transportation and regional economics, used a state-of-the-art computer model tailored to the local economy, as well as extensive data from Continental and outside sources, to develop an assessment of the airline’s current and future economic impacts on the New York/New Jersey region. The assessment includes the direct contributions made by Continental employees and passengers as well as the multiplier effects of increased spending on the regional economy. The study was performed by NERA, which has more than 600 staff members in eleven offices in North America as well as fourteen overseas offices. The result is one of the most complete and detailed studies ever completed concerning the contribution of an airline’s operations to a regional economy.
To view a full copy the NERA report, click here.