Carrier hit by drop in premium traffic
Continental Airlines today (April 23) announced a first quarter net loss of $136m.
It is the fourth major US carrier, after American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, to report a loss in the last week.
The Houston-based airline said its figures were hit by "significant declines in high yield traffic" as business travellers cut travel or bought economy tickets.
It said total revenue for the three months was $3bn, a drop of 17% compared to the same period in2008.
Passenger revenue also fell by 18.8% to $606m, again compared to the first quarter of 2008.
The three area of the biggest decline were domestic (21%), regional (22.8%) and transatlantic (21.7%).
But the airline also reported that fares had dropped by 7.4% compared with the same period in2008 and by 16.3% in March 2009 compared to March 2008.
Consolidated yield for the first three months also fell 8.6% year-on-year.
During the three months, the US Department of transportation (DoT) gave approval to Continental joining Star Alliance.
It also gave the "tentative" go ahead to the airline receiving anti-trust immunity with other members of the Alliance.
Larry Kellner, Continental's chairman and ceo, said: "My co-workers did a great job of working together to meet continued challenges during a tough quarter."