Continental Airlines is now down to two active Boeing 737-300s

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Continental Airlines (Houston) did not retire the last Boeing 737-300 at the end of 2009 as previously planned. Two aircraft (N12318 and N14336) are still being operated and will now probably be phased out in late February or early March 2010. According to the company’s press release, Continental expects to record $77 million of special charges during the fourth quarter of 2009 ($145 million for the full year 2009). The aircraft-related charges in the fourth quarter of 2009 consist of a $23 million non-cash charge to write down to fair value certain 737-300 and 737-500 aircraft and spare parts and a $13 million loss on the sublease of eight ERJ 145 ( EMB-145) aircraft.  In June 2008, Continental announced its decision to retire all of its Boeing 737-300 aircraft and a significant portion of its Boeing 737-500 aircraft by the end of 2009.  As of Dec. 31, 2009, the company had removed a majority of its 737-300 fleet from service. The 737-300 and 737-500 aircraft fleets and spare parts, a portion of which was being sold on consignment, experienced further declines in fair values during the fourth quarter of 2009 primarily as a result of additional 737s being grounded by other airlines.

Full press release: