Plans of several Continental Airline employes to form an employe-owned airline based at Dulles International Airport have been set aside for the time being because of the recession, according to the organizers.
At the same time, another group plans to form a smaller Dulles-based commuter service connecting the Washington area's three major airports. But it faces significant start-up problems as well.
Brent E. Hippert, a furloughed Continental pilot, confirmed that his group has told the Civil Aeronautics Board to stop processing its application for authority to create EOA, which stands for Employe Owned Airlines. "At the moment, it's on hold because there's no financing out there," said Hippert, who was serving as interim president and chief executive officer of the new venture.
Hippert and two other Continental employes had hoped to begin "high-quality, low-fare" service this summer on a triangular route system between Dulles, Houston and Denver. They had envisioned two round-trip flights a day between each pair of cities using four Boeing 727-100 aircraft.
The group--two pilots and an engineer--had gotten the idea for the employe-owned airline through their involvement in Continental's unsuccessful attempt last year to turn control over to its employes as a means of thwarting the takeover by Texas International Airlines.
Hippert, who is in the computer software business now, said he hopes to be able to reactivate the project when the economy improves and interest rates fall.