A detailed economic-impact study carried out for Continental Airlines shows that in 2008 the airline's operations contributed more than $6.3 billion in gross regional...

A detailed economic-impact study carried out for Continental Airlines shows that in 2008 the airline’s operations contributed more than $6.3 billion in gross regional product to the New York/New Jersey region and an estimated 110,000 jobs amounting to more than $5.9 billion in personal income.

Continental offers more seats and serves more nonstop destinations from the New York area than any other carrier. The study was performed by NERA Economic Consulting (NERA) for Continental to coincide with the carrier’s 30th anniversary of service to the area and its recent entry to Star Alliance.


The report estimates that, of the 110,000 jobs currently being contributed by Continental to the region, approximately 30 per cent are in New York City, 12 per cent in the rest of New York state, 31 per cent in the Newark region and 27 per cent in the rest of New Jersey.

“As significant as these results are, this study does not measure the full economic impact of Continental’s presence,” says Dr. David Harrison, Jr, project director and senior vice president of NERA. “While the study measures aviation employment and passenger expenditures, including multiplier effects, it does not include other important aspects of Continental operations on the community. It is clear from the data that Continental’s presence makes the New York/New Jersey region a more attractive region for businesses to relocate or expand their operations due to the reduction in the cost of doing business associated with access to air travel.”

Even excluding those substantial effects, the NERA analysis estimated that by 2030, Continental’s contribution would account for $11 billion in personal income and $12 billion in gross regional product, nearly double Continental’s contribution in 2008.

“As the first member of the Star Alliance with a major hub in the New York City area, Continental will be connecting the region with 24 other carriers in a global alliance that offers more than 18,900 flights a day to 983 cities in 169 countries,” says Larry Kellner, Continental’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Continental commissioned NERA Economic Consulting (NERA) to conduct the study. NERA, one of the foremost global economic research organizations and with extensive experience in transportation and regional economics, used a state-of-the-art computer model tailored to the local economy, as well as extensive data from Continental and outside sources, to develop an assessment of the airline’s current and future economic impacts on the New York/New Jersey region.

Continental Airlines' huge, all-Boeing fleet includes 16 long-haul 767-400ERs (one is pictured here), as well as 20 777-200ERs, 10 767-200ERs and 41 757-200ERs. Each of Continental's 767-400ERs in configured to seat 35 in Business First and 200 in economy-class

Continental Airlines' huge, all-Boeing fleet includes 16 long-haul 767-400ERs (one is pictured here), as well as 20 777-200ERs, 10 767-200ERs and 41 757-200ERs. Each of Continental's 767-400ERs in configured to seat 35 in Business First and 200 in economy-class

The assessment includes the direct contributions made by Continental employees and passengers as well as the multiplier effects of increased spending on the regional economy. The study was performed by NERA, which has more than 600 staff members in 11 offices in North America as well as 14 overseas offices. The result is one of the most complete and detailed studies ever completed concerning the contribution of an airline’s operations to a regional economy.

As of March, Continental and its regional partners served 146 nonstop destinations with 412 flights per day from Newark Liberty International Airport, making Continental Airlines the largest airline at the airport by both metrics.

Together with its regional partners, Continental transported 70 per cent of all revenue passengers at Newark in 2008. Continental also handled more than 120,000 tons of revenue freight at Newark in 2008, making it the largest freight handler among the airport’s passenger airlines.

Continental has significant, though much smaller, operations at LaGuardia Airport (LaGuardia), where it ranked among the 15 largest carriers (by passenger count) in 2008. From LaGuardia, Continental and its partners operated 16 flights per day as of March 2009.

The airline’s New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) serves as a gateway to Continental’s international route system to Europe, Asia and Latin America. Continental’s hub at EWR currently provides daily or near-daily nonstop service to 26 European destinations, seven Canadian cities, eight Central American/Caribbean destinations, and four cities in Mexico, as well as Bogota, Sao Paulo, Beijing, Delhi, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Shanghai and Tokyo.

Continental says its EWR service represents the only scheduled nonstop service from the New York City area to several important domestic and international destinations. Continental supplements its extensive EWR operations with frequent nonstop service from LaGuardia to the airline’s hubs in Houston and Cleveland.

Claiming to be the world’s fifth largest airline by total passenger traffic, Continental ― together with Continental Express and Continental Connection ― has more than 2,400 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 130 domestic and 132 international destinations.

With more than 41,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with its regional partners, carries approximately 63 million passengers per year.

For more information, visit www.flycontinental.com.