Category Archives: Continental Airlines

Historic Photo: Continental Airlines Airbus A300B4-103 N13983 (msn 92) MCO (Brian J. Gore – Christian Volpati Collection). Image: 954908.

Continental Airlines Airbus A300B4-103 N13983 (msn 92) MCO (Brian J. Gore - Christian Volpati Collection). Image: 954908.

Copyright Photo: Continental Airlines Airbus A300B4-103 N13983 (msn 92) MCO (Brian J. Gore – Christian Volpati Collection). Image: 954908.

United Airlines quietly retires two Boeing aircraft types in late May

United Airlines (Chicago) without any fanfare or publicity retired two classic Boeing types again in late May according to Airline Business. Former Continental Airlines Boeing 737-524 N62631 (msn 27535) operated the last Boeing 737-500 flight (UA 1705) between Cleveland and Houston (Bush Intercontinental) on May 30.

Additionally Boeing 767-224 ER N68159 (msn 30438) operated the last 767-200 flight between Munich and Newark on May 27.

Ironically United had previously retired both types but inherited both types again when the Continental fleet was merged. The 737-500 was previously retired on August 27, 2009 and the 767-200 on March 28, 2005.

Top Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/ N62631 when it was with Continental Airlines.

Continental Airlines: AG Slide Show

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl/ Sister ship Boeing 767-224 ER N73152 (msn 30431) lands at Zurich.

Historic Photo of the Day – May 26, 2013

Continental’s Houston Proud Bird Express (Emerald Air) Douglas DC-9-14 N38641 (msn 47060) HOU (Keith Armes). Image: 912258.

Copyright Photo: Keith Armes.

Continental Airlines: AG Slide Show

Frameable Color Prints and Posters: AG All Photos Available

United reports a 1Q net loss of $417 million

United Airlines (Chicago) today reported a first-quarter 2013 net loss of $325 million, or $0.98 per share, excluding $92 million of special charges. Including special charges, UAL reported a first-quarter 2013 net loss of $417 million, or $1.26 per share.

  • The company achieved its best first-quarter on-time performance in a decade, with 81.0 percent of mainline flights, including both domestic and international flights, arriving within 14 minutes of scheduled arrival time.
  • UAL’s first-quarter 2013 consolidated passenger revenue increased 0.7 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity reduction of 4.9 percent. First-quarter consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 5.9 percent compared to the same period in 2012.
  • First-quarter 2013 consolidated unit costs (CASM), holding fuel rate and profit sharing constant and excluding special charges and third-party business expense, increased 7.2 percent year-over-year on a consolidated capacity reduction of 4.9 percent. First-quarter 2013 consolidated CASM increased 6.5 percent year-over-year.
  • UAL ended the first quarter with $6.4 billion in unrestricted liquidity.

“Our co-workers pulled together in the first quarter to significantly improve our operational performance and customer service despite challenging weather and high load factors, and I want to thank them for their hard work,” said Jeff Smisek, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Although this was a difficult quarter financially, I’m very proud of our team.”

First-Quarter Revenue and Capacity

For the first quarter of 2013, total revenue was $8.7 billion, an increase of 1.4 percent year-over-year. First-quarter consolidated passenger revenue increased 0.7 percent to $7.6 billion, compared to the same period in 2012.

Consolidated revenue passenger miles (RPMs) decreased 1.2 percent on a consolidated capacity (available seat miles) decrease of 4.9 percent year-over-year for the first quarter. First-quarter 2013 consolidated load factor was 81.1 percent, an increase of 3.0 points versus the first quarter of 2012.

First-quarter 2013 consolidated PRASM increased 5.9 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Consolidated yield for the first quarter of 2013 increased 1.9 percent year-over-year.

Mainline RPMs in the first quarter of 2013 decreased 1.6 percent on a mainline capacity decrease of 5.0 percent year-over-year, resulting in a first-quarter mainline load factor of 81.4 percent. Mainline yield for the first quarter of 2013 increased 1.3 percent compared to the same period in 2012. First-quarter 2013 mainline PRASM increased 5.0 percent year-over-year.

“We are encouraged by our unit revenue performance this quarter, and we are working hard to build on our overall revenue progress this year,” said Jim Compton, UAL’s vice chairman and chief revenue officer. “My co-workers’ continued focus on our operational performance and customer service directly contributed to our improved revenue results.”

Passenger revenue for the first quarter of 2013 and period-to-period comparisons of related statistics for UAL’s mainline and regional operations are as follows:

1Q 2013PassengerRevenue  (millions) Passenger Revenue vs.1Q 2012 PRASM  vs. 1Q 2012 Yield vs. 1Q 2012 Available Seat Miles   vs.
1Q 2012
Domestic $2,909 (1.1%) 3.6% 1.1% (4.5%)
Atlantic 1,185 (0.3%) 11.0% 6.9% (10.2%)
Pacific 1,143 4.0% 7.2% 0.7% (3.0%)
Latin America 701 (3.4%) (2.6%) (5.6%) (0.8%)
International 3,029 0.5% 6.5% 1.5% (5.6%)
Mainline 5,938 (0.3%) 5.0% 1.3% (5.0%)
Regional 1,621 4.3% 8.8% 2.9% (4.1%)
Consolidated $7,559 0.7% 5.9% 1.9% (4.9%)

Year-over-year cargo and other revenue in the first quarter of 2013 increased 6.2 percent, or $68 million, to $1.2 billion.

First-Quarter Costs

First-quarter total operating expenses increased $112 million, or 1.3 percent, year-over-year. Third-party business expense was $121 million in the first quarter.

Consolidated and mainline CASM, excluding special charges and third-party business expense, increased 6.8 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively, in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period of 2012. First-quarter consolidated and mainline CASM, including special charges, increased 6.5 and 7.9 percent year-over-year, respectively.

In the first quarter, consolidated and mainline CASM, excluding special charges and third-party business expense and holding fuel rate and profit sharing constant, increased 7.2 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively, compared to the results for the same period in 2012.

“We are focused companywide on operating more efficiently. Moreover, we are building an infrastructure to achieve our return-on-invested-capital goals and generate long-term returns,” said John Rainey, UAL’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Our balance sheet is the healthiest it’s been in years, and that benefits everyone—co-workers, customers and investors.”

Liquidity, Cash Flow and Return on Invested Capital

UAL ended the quarter with $6.4 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1.0 billion of undrawn commitments under its new revolving credit facility. During the first quarter, the company generated $393 million of operating cash flow and had gross capital expenditures and purchase deposits of $526 million. The company made debt and capital lease principal payments of $1.3 billion in the first quarter, including $1.0 billion of prepayments. The company’s return on invested capital for the 12 months ended March 31, 2013, was 8.0 percent, below the company’s goal of 10 percent.

First-Quarter 2013 Events

  • United Airlines achieved a U.S. Department of Transportation first-quarter domestic on-time arrival rate of 81.4 percent, exceeding 80 percent in each month of the quarter. For international flights, United recorded an on-time arrival rate of 79.7 percent for the quarter. The on-time arrival rates are based on flights arriving within 14 minutes of scheduled arrival time. This was the best first-quarter on-time performance for the carrier in a decade.
  • United co-workers earned cash incentive payments totaling $22 million for on-time performance during the first quarter.
  • Co-workers earned $4.4 million for reaching the company’s customer-satisfaction target for the first quarter, as measured through online surveys of MileagePlus members flying United and United Express. United also awarded $125,000 to select employees of United and United Express for excellence in customer service as part of the company’s Outperform Recognition Program.
  • United continued its comprehensive customer service training program for all customer-facing agents and flight attendants worldwide, and nearly 13,000 co-workers completed the training in the first quarter.
  • During the first quarter, United replaced its $1.2 billion term loan due 2014 with a new $900 million term loan due 2019, and reduced the principal balance by $300 million in the process. Simultaneously, United entered into a new $1.0 billion revolving credit facility due 2018 that replaced the company’s $500 million undrawn revolving credit facility due 2015, bolstering the company’s unrestricted liquidity position.
  • The company pre-paid $400 million of its 9.875 percent Senior Secured Notes and $200 million of its 12.0 percent Senior Second Lien Notes during the first quarter.
  • United broke ground on a new widebody aircraft maintenance hangar at Newark Liberty International Airport and is constructing a new maintenance hangar at Washington Dulles International Airport, boosting United’s maintenance capabilities on the East Coast. The company signed a 10-year lease extension on its Maintenance Operations Center at San Francisco International Airport, United’s largest maintenance facility.
  • United opened the airline’s new employee health clinic at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, offering convenient on-site health services to co-workers at no charge.
  • The company took delivery of six Boeing 737-900ERs and removed from service three Boeing 737-500s and two Boeing 757-200s.
  • The company reached an agreement to sell up to 30 Boeing 757-200 aircraft to FedEx.
  • During the quarter, the company expanded its industry-leading global route network, launching new nonstop service to Nassau, Bahamas; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Oklahoma City, Okla. United also added two new cities to its network, Fayetteville, N.C., and Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. The company announced future new nonstop markets, including the company’s first nonstop service to Dickinson, N.D., as well as additional service to Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Anchorage, Alaska; Traverse City, Mich.; and Charleston, S.C. The airline also announced it will resume nonstop daily service from Chicago to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • United relaunched the Premier Access program offering customers access to expedited check-in and security checkpoint lanes along with priority boarding.
  • United launched a new baggage delivery option, enabling customers to have their checked bags delivered directly to their final destinations and skip baggage claim upon arrival. The airline will expand the service to more than 190 domestic airports in the coming months.
  • The company unveiled a new lounge standard at its United Club in Terminal 2 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, the first to feature a new design that the airline will use when building and renovating lounges worldwide. The airline is investing more than $50 million to renovate many of its United Clubs, with three more United Clubs to be renovated this year.
  • The carrier introduced its first reconfigured transcontinental “p.s.,” Premium Service, aircraft equipped with flat-bed seats, all-new interiors, personal on-demand entertainment, Wi-Fi connectivity, in-seat power and USB ports. United offers p.s. on all nonstop flights between New York Kennedy and both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • The company ramped up installation of global satellite-based Wi-Fi on its mainline fleet and currently offers satellite-based Wi-Fi on 38 of its aircraft, becoming the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer customers the ability to stay connected while traveling on long-haul overseas routes.
  • United introduced a new application for Windows Phone 8 users. With the launch of the Windows app, United is now available on all mobile platforms, including iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
  • The company continued to install flat-bed seats in premium cabins on its international fleet and now has more than 7,000 new flat-bed seats on 182 aircraft, more than any other U.S. carrier. In addition, Economy Plus is now available on nearly all of United’s mainline fleet.
  • UAL merged its two operating subsidiaries, United and Continental, into a single operating entity, United, on March 31, 2013.

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/ The Continental Airlines name is being kept alive with this United Airlines’ Boeing 737-924 ER WL N75436 (msn 33531) painted in Continental’s 1947 Blue Skyway retrojet scheme.

United Airlines: AG Slide Show

Continental Airlines: AG Slide Show

Continental Airlines is cleared of any criminal responsibility in a French court for the July 25, 2000 Air France Concorde crash near Paris

Continental Airlines (Houston) was cleared yesterday (November 29) of any criminal responsibility in a French court for the Concorde crash in Paris in 2000 that killed 113 people. The ruling absolves a Continental mechanic of involuntary manslaughter according to this report by Reuters. The mechanic had fashioned a non-standard titanium strip that fell off a Continental McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft that fell onto the runway just before the Air France (Paris) Concorde attempted its ill-fated takeoff. Air France flight AF 4590 was scheduled to fly from Charles de Gaulle International Airport near Paris, to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City on July 25, 2000. Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde 101 F-BTSC (msn 203) crashed into a hotel in Gonesse, France. All 100 passengers and the nine crew members on board died in the fiery crash.

Today Continental Airlines is now part of United Continental Holdings.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Top Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati. Concorde 100 F-BTSC (msn 203) is pictured at Paris (CDG) in March 1976 in the original 1959 delivery color scheme. The airliner was originally leased by Air France from Aerospatiale on January 1, 1976 as the earlier model of the type. It was converted to a Concorde 101 in June 1980.

Air France: AG Slide Show

Continental Airlines: AG Slide Show



United and Continental pilots have a tentative agreement, subject to an approval vote

United Airlines‘ (Chicago) and Continental Airlines‘ (Houston) pilots may finally have an integration contract agreement that will allow the two groups to be merged. ALPA has issued the following statement:

The Master Executive Councils of the Continental and United pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association International, have voted to accept a tentative agreement on a joint collective bargaining agreement reached with United Continental Holdings, Inc. The agreement now goes before the pilots for a ratification vote.

Captain Jay Heppner, Chairman of the United Master Executive Council and Captain Jay Pierce, Chairman of the Continental Master Executive Council, said the following in a joint statement:

“With this step, we are closer to a new contract that will provide gains in compensation, work rules, job protections, and retirement and benefits for our pilots and their families. We will finally begin to see the benefits of the merger that were promised to us, and an end to the concessionary and bankruptcy-era contracts we have lived and worked under for more than a decade.

“This agreement represents years of determination and unity demonstrated by the pilots of both airlines during the two-and-a-half years of negotiations for a new contract following the merger announcement. Pilots from both United and Continental Airlines will now determine whether this agreement addresses their contributions to the success of the airline.

“This step is also good news for our passengers and United employees. Once there is pilot approval of a contract, the operations of the two airlines can finally begin to be integrated. We can begin to deliver on the promise of the world’s best airline.”

Integration of seniority lists for the two pilots groups will occur after ratification of the tentative agreement. The process is independent of airline management and involves negotiations between the two pilot groups. Absent an agreement, binding arbitration will be used to settle any remaining differences. The process follows a predefined timeline following contract ratification that was agreed upon by the two pilot groups shortly after the merger was announced.

Copyright Photo: Fred Seggie. Boeing 777-222 ER N784UA (msn 26951) climbs away from London (Heathrow). N784UA is painted in the 2004 livery of United. The United fleet is adopting the older 1991 color scheme of Continental Airlines.

United Airlines: 

Continental Airlines: 

Continental’s flight attendants approve the new contract

United Airlines (Chicago) has announced that flight attendants from the Continental subsidiary, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), ratified a new labor agreement.

The new agreement covers approximately 9,000 United flight attendants at the company’s Continental subsidiary located throughout the United States. The company and the AFA will soon commence negotiations for a joint collective bargaining agreement for flight attendants at United, Continental and Continental Micronesia. Flight attendants from the company’s United subsidiary ratified a new four-year contract in February 2012.

The AFA represents more than 24,000 flight attendants at the company’s United and Continental subsidiaries.

Copyright Photo: Andi Hiltl.

United Airlines: 

Continental Airlines: 

United reaches a tentative agreement with Continental’s flight attendants

United Airlines (Chicago) has announced the company has reached a tentative agreement with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) covering flight attendants from the company’s Continental Airlines subsidiary, almost three months ahead of the contract’s amendable date.

The agreement extends the current collective bargaining agreement for a term of 28 months beyond its September 1, 2012, amendable date. Flight attendants will vote on the agreement in the coming weeks.

Flight attendants from the company’s United subsidiary ratified a new four-year contract in February 2012.

Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin.



ALPA calls for a strike vote at United Continental Holdings

Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), representing the 12,000 pilots of Continental Airlines and United Airlines of United Continental Holdings (Chicago), has called for a strike vote by its members after failing to come to an agreement with management on a single contract for the pilots after two years of negotiations.

Management states it is making progress in the negotiations and any strike vote will not alter the negotiations. The opposite is likely, a call for a strike will probably result in a final settlement.

Reminder to those wanting to merge companies; make sure you have the labor contracts in order before any merger!

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Storm clouds ahead? Like US Airways, Continental Airlines and United Airlines are in reality still two separate airlines with two pilot contract groups even though the companies have “merged” under the United Continental Holdings name and the Continental brand with the United name.

Continental Slide Show: CLICK HERE

United Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Was the Continental takeover of United a mistake?

Continental Airlines‘ (Houston) merger with United Airlines (Chicago) was billed as a “merger of equals.” In reality it was a takeover of United by Continental. Continental was the best and most well-run U.S. legacy carrier before the merger. The Continental name is gone but the brand continues with the “new United”. United’s CEO Glenn Tilton got his way – he found someone to take United off his hands. Today the new UA is plagued with problems. 1 and 1 does not always equal 2. The new United is not the old Continental with more aircraft and people. Efficiency and profitability have taken a hit.

Joe Brancatelli of explores the headline question and other issues facing the new United in his “Worst. Airline. Ever. Again” article.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

Continental Slide Show: CLICK HERE

United Slide Show: CLICK HERE