Continental cancels 24 flights for pilot sick calls

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 27, 2011 2:13 PM
Continental cancels 24 flights for pilot sick calls

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Continental Airlines canceled 24 flights on Wednesday due to a shortage of pilots after a barrage of sick calls, said the carrier's parent, United Continental Holdings Inc.

Airline spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said most of the cancellations involved flights from Newark. The airline is working to book the affected passengers on other flights, she said.

United Continental was formed last year from the merger of United Airlines and Continental Airlines.

The company is currently negotiating a joint contract with the pilots, who have voiced impatience over the slow pace of the talks.

McCarthy declined to say if the sick calls were an orchestrated work action. A spokesperson for the Air Line Pilots Association union was not immediately available for comment.

Shares of United Continental were down 2.8 percent at $18.23 in afternoon trading.

(Reporting by Kyle Peterson; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)