Continental Reports Loss for 2005

Continental Airlines, one of the few mainline, traditional airlines not in bankruptcy, posted a $68 million loss for the full year of 2005. But when excluding some special items such as the sale of Copa stock, Continental actually lost $205 million for the full year 2005. Continental attributed the loss to increased competition from low-cost carriers and the inability to use fare increases to cover the higher cost of fuel. In 2005, Continental's mainline fuel costs were $856 million higher than in 2004. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Larry Kellner also said: "The price of oil still hovers at record high prices, JetBlue has invaded our Newark hub, Delta is using its bankruptcy advantage to expand into our profitable international markets and United Airlines, flush with $3 billion in exit financing and greatly reduced costs, is coming out of bankruptcy." He also said, though, that thanks to Continental's employees who took wage and benefit reductions in 2005, Continental has been able to avoid the path of bankrupt carriers and launch one of the largest international expansion plans in its history.

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