A package passed by Congress to aid the airline industry means Continental Airlines is no longer in danger of filing for bankruptcy protection, company officials said.

The company expects to get more than $300 million in cash from the federal government as part of the legislation President Bush signed over the weekend, company spokesman David Messing told Tuesday's editions of the Houston Chronicle.

The legislation included $5 billion in cash for U.S. carriers, and another $10 billion in federal loan guarantees.

The Houston-based carrier said without the government aid it could have been forced to seek bankruptcy protection by late October. Continental already has said it is laying off about 12,000 employees and cutting back flights by 20 percent.

The airline industry was already in trouble before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City, rural Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., when grounded flights cost carriers millions.