May 1, 2009

Continental cuts flights to Mexico

Continental Airlines, based in Houston, said Friday it temporarily was cutting capacity to Mexico by 40 percent, about 180 of its roughly 450 weekly flights.

Despite the cut on its Mexico flights because of the swine flu outbreak, Continental said it would fly to all of its 29 destinations south of the border, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Given the swift changes we are seeing in the marketplace, we need to react prudently but quickly to bring our capacity more into line with demand, Continental Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Larry Kellner said. We were already experiencing soft market conditions due to the economy, and now our Mexico routes in particular have extra weakness. Our plan going forward will be to continue to monitor demand levels we are seeing and adjust our capacity and costs accordingly.

The airline said it's trying to rebook passengers with reservations on canceled flights with itineraries as close as possible to their original flight plans. Penalty-free flight changes are available through May 31.