Cal Loss

hotwing

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Nov. 5, 2005, 8:56AM
Airline posts loss of $115 million

Continental blames fuel costs for tough month

By NANCY SARNOFF
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
Continental Airlines Friday said it had posted a loss of approximately $115 million for October.
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The Houston-based carrier cited high fuel prices and competition from low-cost airlines.
"It continues to be a very tough market out there," Continental Chairman and CEO Larry Kellner said in a recorded message to employees after the market closed.
He also reiterated that the company expects to post "significant" losses for the fourth quarter and the full year.
The company provided the same financial information to the Securities and Exchange Commission in a regulatory filing.
Kellner said also said he hopes recent declines in fuel prices would keep November and December losses from being as high as the one in October.
Oil prices, which peaked near $70 per barrel at the end of August, have dropped to around $60 this month.
Recent hurricanes have also been a disruption for Continental.
Last month, the company canceled a series of flights to Mexican resorts and Florida destinations during Hurricane Wilma, the latest in a string of storms to hit the U.S. and Mexico.
Despite soaring fuel costs, Continental reported profits in its second and third quarters.
For the third quarter, it made a profit of $61 million.
Meanwhile, the carrier has been expanding its international service in an effort to bolster profit.
This week, it kicked off non-stop flights between New York and Delhi, India.
Next month, Continental plans to launch its seventh trans-Atlantic route this year when it begins flying from Houston to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
nancy.sarnoff@chron.com
 
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