Release #08.CAL5
April 28, 2008

Continental pilots support decision to stop merger
But union states that it won’t end efforts to protect pilot interests

HOUSTON—The Continental pilots union, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l. (ALPA), issued a statement today after the Continental Airlines’ announcement to its employees on Sunday, rejecting a combination with another airline.

Said Capt. Jay Pierce, chairman of the Continental pilots union, “We’ve maintained throughout this process that we support management’s preference to operate Continental Airlines as a successful, viable stand-alone carrier. We believe that despite the challenges of high fuel prices and an uncertain economy, there are benefits to our pilots in maintaining independence.”

“The announcement to not pursue a merger now doesn’t mean we won’t have significant challenges ahead,” stated Capt. Pierce. “To protect our pilots and our futures, we will continue our efforts to remain ready and prepared for all foreseeable options. No matter what lies ahead,” he said, “we will continue to work jointly with and support pilot groups at other airlines to protect all our concerns.”

The Continental pilots union leaders have met with union leaders from other pilot groups during the merger activity, both recently and over the preceding months. Capt. Pierce spoke about the benefits gained for pilots from those meetings. “We support our fellow pilots at other airlines. As pilots with a large stake in the outcome of potential mergers, we’ve formed a new understanding of the challenges and opportunities before us in this new market landscape. Different pilot groups have different managements, but we’ve learned from this process that we all have to work together to protect pilots' interests. The cooperation among pilot groups has never been higher, and we will continue to take steps to strengthen those ties, merger or not.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union and represents more than 56,000 pilots at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. ALPA represents the nearly 5,000 pilots who fly for Continental Airlines.

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Contacts: Capt. Mark Adams, 281-987-3636 or
Amy Flanagan, 281-987-3636 or