Continental To Cut Flights As Oil Prices Rise

June 12, 2008

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Continental Airlines said on Thursday it will stop flights from its hubs to more than 40 domestic and international destinations as of September 3 as it scales down in the face of high oil prices.

The bulk of the cuts will come at Continental's Houston and Newark, New Jersey, hubs. Among the services being discontinued include flights from Newark to Cologne, and from Houston to Washington.

The cuts were detailed as Continental released more information about the capacity reductions it announced last week in response to record fuel prices.

Last week, Continental said it would cut 3,000 jobs, or about 6.5 percent of its work force, and retire 67 older planes.

On Thursday, Continental said its cuts will result in an 11 percent decline in domestic mainline capacity, or available seat miles -- reflecting the number of seats for sale and length of flight -- in the fourth quarter, compared with the same period last year.

The changes will result in a 6.4 percent decline in consolidated -- mainline plus regional -- capacity in the fourth quarter.

As a result of the cuts, the airline will close its offices at 15 domestic and international locations.

Continental is the latest of the major US airlines to announce large cutbacks as they grapple with unprecedented oil prices, which have doubled in the past year.

United Airlines has announced plans to slash jobs and flights, following a similar move by American Airlines.

(Reuters)