Continental Airlines announced yesterday that it has postponed indefinitely a special stockholder meeting scheduled for Thursday to vote on its proposed merger with Western Airlines.

At the meeting, Texas International Airlines was expected to vote whatever Continental shared it had acquired by then -- possibly as much as 48 1/2 percent of Continental's outstanding shares -- against the proposed merger as a first step in taking over Continental itself.

Continental's announcement followed a special meeting of Continental's board of directors. "Postponement of the meeting will allow management additional time to deal with the complex sitution which has developed since Texas Internaitonal Airlines announced its tender offer . . . and its commitment to vote those shares against our proposed merger with Western," Continental President A.L. Feldman and board Chairman Robert F. Six said in a letter to be mailed shareholders.

Although the postponement of the meeting means TI won't be able to vote against the Continental-Western merger, the general feeling among industry observers is that, given the ownership position TI has in Continental, there is little the Los Angeles-based airline can do to stop TI's bid to acquire it, if the Civil Aeronautics Board approves the acquisition.