Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 17:00 UK

Continental makes 1,700 job cuts

Continental Airlines plane
Continental is not alone in struggling in the downturn

Continental Airlines has said that it is to cut 1,700 jobs amid a slump in revenue and passenger numbers.

The airline is also increasing its fees for checking in bags and for making reservations by telephone.

The airline lost $213m (£129.9m) between April and June, after many business passengers put off travel or bought cheaper tickets.

Other US rivals fared better, with both United and Southwest reporting profits for the same period.

UAL, United's parent firm, said it made a second-quarter profit of $28m - or 19 cents a share - thanks to fuel hedge gains, accounting charges and other one-off items.

However, without those gains, it would have made a quarterly loss of $2.23 a share, or $328.6m in total.

UAL said it would be cutting its international flight capacity by 7% in the last four months of 2009.

Travel trouble

For its part, Southwest reported its first quarterly profit in a year, with earnings of $54m.

However, that was sharply down on the same period in 2008, when it made $321m.

Continental said its job cuts, which will include management and clerical positions, could save the firm $100m by next year.

The staff cuts were part of "aggressive steps to increase revenue and reduce costs", Continental's chief executive Larry Kellner said.

The carrier had previously cut 500 jobs for reservation agents and given leave of absence to 700 flight attendants.

Many global airlines have been struggling as demand for air travel has fallen during the global economic downturn, with particular decline in business-class and first-class travel.

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