Continental Lite

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Continental Lite
Founded 1993
Ceased operations 1995
Parent company Continental Airlines


A DC-9-32 in the Continental Lite livery

Continental Lite was a short lived subsidiary brand of Continental Airlines established in 1993. The airline folded in 1995 after losing what has been reported in the press as between $140 million[1] or (US) $300 million.[2]

It was developed by Continental Airlines to counter the rise of low-cost start up carriers. This despite the fact that Continental had some of the lowest costs in the airline industry due to many of the trade labor unions agreements being tossed out during Frank Lorenzo's reign with Continental through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[3]

The airline was named CALite from Fall 1993 and later renamed.[4]

Continental Lite operated with a dedicated fleet of McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30, Boeing 737-200, Boeing 737-300, and Boeing 737-500 aircraft, each repainted with the 'Lite' livery and stripped of its first class cabin. This service was based primarily at Continental's existing hub in Cleveland as well as a new hub established in Piedmont Triad International Airport.[5]

Continental West

Continental West in a sense was another short lived predecessor brand of Continental Lite, but was based in Los Angeles. It operated mainline Boeing 737-300 jet aircraft on an hourly shuttle between Los Angeles and San Jose. Texas Air Corporation Continental's previous holding company, created this "airline within an airline" concept in 1985 in an effort to operate lower cost flights, but was folded back into Continental by 1986.


  1. ^ Bryant, Adam (14 April 1995). "COMPANY REPORTS; Continental Is Dropping 'Lite' Service" – via
  2. ^ Gwynne, S. C. (24 February 1997). "FLYING INTO TROUBLE" – via
  3. ^ " - CBSi".
  4. ^ Cooney, Peter. "Low Fares, No-Frills At Continental Lite." Chicago Sun-Times. July 26, 1994. Retrieved on February 22, 2009.
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