Continental’s RASM Numbers More Or Less In Line: Still Starkly Negative

Continental Airlines released their traffic report last night and the result was more or less what had been expected — in terms of what analysts had expected the airline would post in terms of its estimated RASM figures.

The airline said that it estimates RASM was down, year-over-year, by between 18.5% and 19.5%.

This was just a hair worse than the estimate of both analysts Jamie Baker with JP Morgan and Bill Greene with Morgan Stanley.

As for basic traffic, the airline said that its domestic traffic levels were down 12.4%, while international was down 7.5%. Total traffic was down 10%. Capacity, meanwhile, was down 7% overall. This resulted in a decline in load factor of 2.7 points, down to 79.9%.

The rest of the sector will begin to roll out their bad traffic news today.

One thing to remember, however. As bad as these numbers are — remember that Easter came very early last year, and all the revenue bump associated with Easter was in March last year. So comps were going to be difficult regardless.

Not to say that this makes these abysmal numbers any easier to swallow in the big picture, but jus’ sayin.