Continental Lite

 
Old Oct 16, 2005, 7:50 pm
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Continental Lite

When did CO Lite operate and where? Which aircraft were used? Thanks!
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 7:53 pm
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I think it operated in Florida and used the (733/735?).
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 8:45 pm
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Exclamation Ahhh..........the good ol' days!

Here's some links to airliners.net photos of a couple of CAL Lite birds:

http://www.airliners.net/photos/middle/4/3/2/164234.jpg

http://www.airliners.net/photos/middle/9/2/9/207929.jpg

p.s. A search for Continental Lite on continental.com reveals:

! No results Found for the search

Last edited by snake; Oct 16, 2005 at 8:56 pm
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by snake
! No results Found for the search
Horraaaaay! Continental Lite - a proud contender for a spot on the top 3 dumbest ideas thought up by the beancounters!
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 9:12 pm
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Originally Posted by 764toHI
I think it operated in Florida and used the (733/735?).
IIRC there was a hub at GSO.
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by xyzzy
IIRC there was a hub at GSO.
Yep. Flew such high-traffic routes as GSO-DAY with 5 daily D9S fcqcy's - averaging about 9.6 pax per flight. Brainchild of Robert Ferguson, the last in a long line of Lorenzo's hand-picked CEO's. CO Lite helped bring about CO's second trip to Ch.11.
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 10:26 pm
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Originally Posted by J.Edward
Horraaaaay! Continental Lite -top 3 dumbest ideas thought up by the beancounters!
While I must admit, I cried foul after I was on Continental Lite in the late 80's/early 90's, but as it turns out, it was ahead of its time. Bad timing for this failed project. Luckily for us, we don't yet have to contend with the Lite mistake.

Jiburi
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 10:51 pm
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Funny, on the NW forum I was reading rumors about a possible airline within an airline as part of bankruptcy reorg.

Just curious, did CO market and run the flights in the same way as Shuttle by United, ie all coach & no assigned seats etc? What was it all about?
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 11:32 pm
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It was all coach, with a variety of 733s, MD-80s, and DC-9s. I think a few of the 735s *might* have been in the CO Lite fleet for a short time right after they were delivered. I think some of the 737-100s and -200s were used as well. There was the hub at GSO, and there were CO Lite flights out of IAH and the other hubs as well. Part of the problem with the concept was that it was flying a bunch of routes that were very low demand, with a lot of frequency. And then there was the crazy scheduling that had some flights on a route operating as regular CO, and others operating as CO Lite. Now, sure, they do that now with ERJs, but this was a little different because CO Lite used the same models of aircraft that regular CO used. So if a schedule showed a DC-9, it might be CO Lite or it might be regular CO. And this was in the days before the Internet and online seat maps, so it wasn't always easy to tell which level of service you were getting.
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 4:38 am
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The main hub of Co Lite was DEN and was what mentioned so far has been mostly right on spot.

Judging from today`s experience, CO actually indeed did all things wrong that can be done wrong when opening up an Low(er) Cost Carrier ( affiliate ), however some assumptions prooved to be become true later on, mainly create demand through ( massive ) [ theoretically over ] supply, a common practice by all European LCC`s for example.

The UK CAA made studies that people flying Ryanair did not care about their destination, they just bought the cheapest available ticket to get away as cheapo as possible..., this is a very interessanting phenomenon, so theoretically people from X would travel to Y, if the only the price is low enough.

However the biggest problems of Co Lite were high costs ( generally high labour costs ) and additionally high operating costs , because they operated literally every aircraft they had in their fleet and CO was at that time still a mixture of several good old Lorenzo takeovers...

And as pointed out, they operated to places with mainline sized aircraft multiple times a day that do not even have a handful of regional air services these days....
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 6:22 am
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continental lite in theory wasn't a bid idea. But its execution was a disaster. They basically through massive capacity almost randomly on selected routes without any evidence the market could support the capacity. And SW was ferociously competitive when lite moved on their routes. $19 CLE-MDW was very nice indeed.
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 7:22 am
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Originally Posted by jiburi
While I must admit, I cried foul after I was on Continental Lite in the late 80's/early 90's, but as it turns out, it was ahead of its time. Bad timing for this failed project. Luckily for us, we don't yet have to contend with the Lite mistake.

Jiburi
... or do we? Lately, meals "at mealtime" have been described as a "lite breakfest" or a "lite lunch."!!
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 2:21 pm
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Not to mention the frustration when arriving at the airport for a long haul IAH-SNA, only to be informed there would be no upgrade ( all Y seating), and no meal service. Ah, good times.....
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 2:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Threy
The main hub of Co Lite was DEN and was what mentioned so far has been mostly right on spot.
Nope, it was based in GSO. They moved many of the aircraft from Denver (following the hub closure) to GSO for the CAL Lite operation. The traffic in GSO was stimulated effectively, but they over did it to some of the small markets and, most importantly, did not have a clue on the cost side.
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 3:49 pm
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The prevailing theory in the 80's was that you could put a hub airport anywhere because passengers would just be connecting from one flight to another. Hence, CO decided to put CO Lite's hub at GSO (a very low cost airport). Of course, the CO Lite experiment proved that you must have some semblance of a local passenger base to operate a hub effectively. A smaller city like GSO just couldn't support a hub operation.

That being said, Piedmont Airlines had a knack for choosing underserved cities like BWI (pre-WN invasion) and DAY for hubs. It would be interesting to see what their route structure would look like today if they hadn't been taken over by US Airways.
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