Release #04.CAL2
March 10, 2004

Continental Express Pilots Ramp Up Negotiations

HOUSTON---The Continental Master Executive Council (MEC), a unit of the Air Line Pilot’s Association (ALPA), has approved a resolution that allows Continental Express pilots to open strike centers in Houston.

Under this resolution, Continental Express pilots have begun preparations for informational campaigns and additional steps to obtain a new collective bargaining agreement.

Continental Express pilots plan to have strike centers open by May 3 in anticipation of further delays by the company. Key issues remaining in the negotiations are pilot scheduling, job security and compensation.

During negotiations last week (March 1-5), ExpressJet Airlines representatives failed to adequately address the remaining contract issues. Continental Express pilots have been in negotiations with ExpressJet for a new collective bargaining agreement for 20 months.

"We are sending a message to management that Continental Express pilots are serious about these negotiations," said Capt. Jay Panarello, chairman of the CAL pilot union’s Master Executive Council. "Our goal is to get the company back to the table and successfully complete these negotiations."

Continental Express pilots safely transport more than 50,000 passengers to more than 130 destinations daily on a growing fleet of state-of-the-art Embraer jets. These destinations range from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Acapulco, Mexico including the Caribbean. Continental Express is the sole provider of small jet service for Continental Airlines in that company’s hubs in Newark, Cleveland and Houston, and is the largest small jet operator in the world.

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) is the bargaining agent for the 6,500 pilots of Continental and Continental Express. ALPA is the world’s oldest and largest pilot union, representing 64,000 airline pilots at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Their website is

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ALPA contact: Gordon Shattles, 281-987-3636