Release #09.CAL3
December 28, 2009

Continental Pilots Mark Anniversary of Contract Amendable Date without a New Contract

HOUSTON, TEXAS---On Dec. 31, 2009, Continental pilots will see another year pass without a new contract in place. The current concessionary agreement that helped keep Continental out of bankruptcy was signed in April 2005 and became amendable on Dec. 31, 2008. However, the Continental pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), have been negotiating a successor agreement since July 2007, when the union and Continental management agreed to open discussions early. Since that time, the parties have reached tentative agreements on only nine of 32 sections of the contract. Most recently, the union presented a comprehensive proposal to management on Dec. 9, 2009, bringing all remaining sections of the contract to the table, most notably those dealing with economic issues such as pay, work rules and benefits.

Says Captain Jay Pierce, union leader of the Continental pilots, “When we gave our proposal to management on Dec. 9, it was an important step forward. Everything is now on the table. We are looking forward to seeing how our new CEO, Mr. Jeff Smisek, will assess the value of Continental pilots and the significant contributions we’ve made to help our airline.

“Our pilots have given over $200M to Continental each year through cuts in pay, benefits and work rules under our current agreement. Our proposal reflects the significant level of sacrifice made by our pilots and their families and the need to rebalance the equation. As we renew our negotiating efforts in 2010, we expect management to recognize the fact that improvements in our contract are long overdue.”

ALPA represents more than 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the United States and Canada, including the approximately 5,000 pilots at Continental Airlines. There are currently 147 pilots on furlough from Continental. Visit the ALPA Web site at


Contact: Amy Flanagan,, 281-925-4601