Fri, 13 Jun ’08
A change is gonna come… and for some Continental Airlines hubs, it’s gonna hurt. On Thursday, the airline provided further details of its earlier announcement of capacity cuts throughout its network, including the closure of Continental’s operations in Oakland, CA.
“Starting in September, at the conclusion of the peak summer season, CO will reduce capacity from its hubs, resulting in an 11 percent decline of domestic mainline capacity (available seat miles, or ASMs) in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period last year,” the airline said. “The changes will result in a 6.4 percent decline in consolidated (mainline plus regional) capacity in the fourth quarter, compared to the same period last year.”
Including earlier capacity cuts prior to September 3, Continental will trim available seats from its hub in Houston, TX by 7.9 percent; from Newark by 3.2 percent; and Cleveland by a staggering 13 percent. Operations from Guam will be hit hardest, on a percentage basis, with a 21.5 percent cut in capacity.
A number of outlying markets — including Omaha, NE; Albuquerque, NM; Salt Lake City, UT and Hartford, CT — will see some service to Continental hubs cut, with remaining routes only to and from the closest hub.
Continental will also pull out completely from 15 cities: Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia; Cali, Colombia; Chattanooga, TN; Cologne, Germany; Green Bay, WI; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Monclova, Mexico; Montgomery, AL; Palm Springs, CA; Reno, NV; Santiago, Dominican Republic; Sarasota, FL; Tallahassee, FL; and Toledo, OH.
As ANN reported last week, CO will eliminate 3,000 positions across all work groups, including management positions, through voluntary and involuntary separations, with the majority of them expected to be through voluntary programs. The specific number of involuntary furloughs will not be determined until August, after the company knows how many co-workers elect to take advantage of voluntary programs.
The company says it will work with furloughed/terminated co-workers to provide information on benefits and other employment opportunities available to them. In the case where suppliers and vendors are affected by capacity reductions, the airline will work with them to determine if there are other job opportunities for their affected employees.
Continental customers who are currently booked on flights previously scheduled to operate on or after September 3 that are affected by the capacity reductions will be contacted by CO to make alternate arrangements.