The Houston-based airline giant experienced turbulence in the early 1980s when it was bought by holding company Texas Air. After the hostile acquisition, Continental's labor union revolted -- and the airline's president, A.L. Feldman, died of an apparent suicide.
New head Frank Lorenzo failed to reach a compromise with workers, and Continental filed for bankruptcy in 1983, eliminating union contracts.
Continental's second Chapter 11 came in 1990. The airline had assets of $4.8 billion and owed $5.9 billion; on top of its debt load, it faced a precipitous rise in fuel costs brought on by the first Iraq war. Continental emerged from bankruptcy three years later by granting a majority interest to Air Canada and Air Partners.
Today, Continental faces a challenging business environment, but analysts say its credit position is fairly secure compared to competitors like American Airlines.
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