Updated from 5:23 p.m. EST
have ratified a new contract designed to save the airline $213 million a year.
The airline's 100 flight dispatchers also ratified a new contract designed to save Continental $736,000 annually, the Transport Workers Union, which represents the dispatchers, confirmed Wednesday.
The fate of the pilots' concessions now depends on two other work groups -- flight attendants and mechanics -- also agreeing to cuts. Results from their votes are expected later Wednesday.
"This pilot group has a record of leadership at Continental and again has stepped up to help the company survive by accepting concessions of $213 million annually," said Capt. Jay Panarello, chairman of the Master Executive Committee of Continental's arm of the Air Line Pilots Association. "However, any concessions from this pilot group have always been based on the condition that all employee groups share in the cost cuts."
Continental is hoping to save a total of $500 million a year in labor costs. The airline has warned of a liquidity crisis if it couldn't meet that target and set Wednesday as the deadline for employee groups to agree to concessions. Continental has also warned that if any of the unions fail to ratify its concessions it would go back to all employees and ask for even larger annual concessions totaling $800 million.
Continental shares finished Wednesday's session up 92 cents, or 8.4%, at $11.89.