Continental Keeps Cutting Fares

After setting off a round of transatlantic fare cuts in early April, Continental Airlines now vows to make the deals a way of life. On May 3, the airline announced cuts of up to 67% on unrestricted fares to Europe--higher than those announced in April but still well below business fares to Europe last summer. "Fares have crept downward as capacity has outstripped demand," says Robert Harrell, head of American Express' airfare-management unit. Continental's rivals quickly matched on competing routes, but they plan to limit the number of discounted seats. Since Continental serves only five European destinations, rivals hope to limit the damage. Industry sources figure Continental didn't have much to lose, since it attracts fewer high-paying business travelers than other big airlines.

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