HOUSTON (AP) - Continental Airlines is telling its employees
that now is not the time for the airline to combine with another
Continental Chairman and CEO Larry Kellner said in a message to
employees that the airline's board met Sunday and agreed
unanimously that it is not in the best interest of the airline to
pursue a merger.
There has been recent speculation that United Airlines and
Continental might merge.
Continental executives told employees that the risks of such a
deal outweigh the potential rewards.
The company says it will continue to review potential alliances
and membership in SkyTeam.
Airlines have been considering consolidation as a way to cut
costs as they face the strain of record fuel prices. Delta Air
Lines announced earlier this month it is acquiring Northwest
Airlines in a stock-swap deal.
Mark Adams, a spokesman for Continental's union pilots, said
pilots were pleased that the company won't pursue a merger, given
the weak condition of other carriers.
Continental and its regional subsidiaries operate about 3,100
daily flights. Continental has major hubs in Houston, Newark, New
Jersey, and Cleveland.