Continental Airlines today reported an April consolidated load factor of 82.9 percent, 0.6 points above the April 2009 consolidated load factor and a mainline load factor of 83.4 percent, 0.3 points above the April 2009. Both April load factors were records for the month. The carrier reported an April domestic mainline load factor of 86.0 percent, 0.4 points below the April 2009 domestic mainline load factor, and a record international mainline load factor of 80.9 percent, 0.8 points above April 2009.
During April, Continental recorded a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on-time arrival rate of 86.0 percent and a mainline segment completion factor of 98.5 percent.
In April 2010 Continental flew 7.4 billion consolidated revenue passenger miles (RPMs) and 8.9 billion consolidated available seat miles (ASMs), resulting in a consolidated traffic decrease of 2.6 percent and a capacity decrease of 3.2 percent as compared to April 2009. In April 2010, Continental flew 6.5 billion mainline RPMs and 7.9 billion mainline ASMs, resulting in a mainline traffic decrease of 3.6 percent and a mainline capacity decrease of 3.9 percent as compared to April 2009.
Domestic mainline traffic was 3.3 billion RPMs in April 2010, down 3.4 percent from April 2009, and domestic mainline capacity was 3.8 billion ASMs, down 3.0 percent from April 2009.
For April 2010, consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (RASM) is estimated to have increased between 14.0 and 15.0 percent compared to April 2009, while mainline RASM is estimated to have increased between 12.0 and 13.0 percent. For March 2010, consolidated passenger RASM increased 15.0 percent compared to March 2009, while mainline passenger RASM increased 13.4 percent compared to March 2009.
Continental’s operations during the month of April were adversely impacted by a volcanic ash plume in Europe that led to the cancellation of 403 transatlantic flights. Continental estimates that the suspension of these flights during April 2010 resulted in a reduction of 275 million available seat miles, and reduced its consolidated passenger revenue for the month by approximately $24 million. The net effect of the reduction in available seat miles and passenger revenue resulted in a year-over-year RASM benefit of approximately one percentage point, as compared to the RASM performance the company would have expected had the company flown the capacity it cancelled as a result of the volcanic ash plume.
Continental’s regional operations had an April load factor of 79.5 percent, 3.1 points above the April 2009 regional load factor. Regional RPMs were 826.6 million and regional ASMs were 1,039.6 million in April 2010, resulting in a traffic increase of 6.4 percent and a capacity increase of 2.3 percent versus April 2009.