<PAGE>


                                 UNITED STATES
                       SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
                             Washington, D.C. 20549


                                  SCHEDULE 13G
                    Under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
                                 Amendment No. 1



                           Continental Airlines, Inc.
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                (Name of Issuer)



                      Class B Common Stock, $0.01 par value
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         (Title of Class of Securities)


                                    210795308
                  --------------------------------------------
                                 (CUSIP Number)





                                December 31, 1998
- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             (Date of Event Which Requires Filing of this Statement)


Check the  appropriate box to designate the rule pursuant to which this Schedule
is filed:

[X] Rule 13d-1(b)

[_] Rule 13d-1(c)

[_] Rule 13d-1(d)



                                Page 1 of 5 pages

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- -----------------------
  CUSIP No. 210795308                   13G
- -----------------------

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1.   Name of Reporting Person
      I.R.S. Identification No. of above Person

           Goldman, Sachs & Co.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2.   Check the Appropriate Box if a Member of a Group
                                                                (a) [_]
                                                                (b) [_]

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3.   SEC Use Only
 


- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.   Citizenship or Place of Organization
 
           New York

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     5.   Sole Voting Power
                     
     Number of                 0

      Shares        ----------------------------------------------------------
                     6.   Shared Voting Power
   Beneficially      
                               117,241
     Owned by
                    ----------------------------------------------------------
       Each          7.   Sole Dispositive Power
                     
    Reporting                  0

      Person        ----------------------------------------------------------
                     8.   Shared Dispositive Power
       With:          
                               142,241

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 9.   Aggregate Amount Beneficially Owned by Each Reporting Person
 
           142,241

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10.   Check if the Aggregate Amount in Row (9) Excludes Certain Shares

                                                                    [_]

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11.   Percent of Class Represented by Amount in Row (9)

           0.3%

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
12.   Type of Reporting Person

           BD-PN-IA

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      

                                Page 2 of 5 pages

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- -----------------------
  CUSIP No. 210795308                   13G
- -----------------------

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1.   Name of Reporting Person
      I.R.S. Identification No. of above Person

           The Goldman Sachs Group, L.P.

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2.   Check the Appropriate Box if a Member of a Group
                                                                (a) [_]
                                                                (b) [_]

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3.   SEC Use Only
 


- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.   Citizenship or Place of Organization
 
           Delaware

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     5.   Sole Voting Power
                     
     Number of                 0

      Shares        ----------------------------------------------------------
                     6.   Shared Voting Power
   Beneficially      
                               117,241
     Owned by
                    ----------------------------------------------------------
       Each          7.   Sole Dispositive Power
                     
    Reporting                  0

      Person        ----------------------------------------------------------
                     8.   Shared Dispositive Power
       With:          
                               142,241

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 9.   Aggregate Amount Beneficially Owned by Each Reporting Person
 
           142,241

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10.   Check if the Aggregate Amount in Row (9) Excludes Certain Shares

                                                                    [_]

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11.   Percent of Class Represented by Amount in Row (9)

           0.3%

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
12.   Type of Reporting Person

           HC-PN

- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      

                                Page 3 of 5 pages

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Item 4.       Ownership.
                     Not  applicable.  This  amendment  to Schedule 13G is being
                     filed to reflect that as of December 31, 1998,  the percent
                     of the class beneficially owned by Goldman, Sachs & Co. and
                     The Goldman Sachs Group, L.P. did not exceed five percent.

Item 5.       Ownership of Five Percent or Less of a Class.
                     If this statement is being filed to report the fact that as
                     of the date hereof the reporting  persons have ceased to be
                     the  beneficial  owners of more than  five  percent  of the
                     class of securities, check the following [X].

Item 7.       Identification and Classification of the Subsidiary Which Acquired
              the Security Being Reported on by the Parent Holding Company.
                     See Exhibit (99.2) as previously reported.

Item 10.      Certification.
              By signing  below I certify  that, to the best of my knowledge and
              belief,  the  securities  referred to above were  acquired and are
              held in the ordinary  course of business and were not acquired and
              are not held for the  purpose of or with the effect of changing or
              influencing  the control of the issuer of the  securities and were
              not  acquired  and  are  not  held  in  connection  with  or  as a
              participant in any transaction having that purpose or effect.



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                                    SIGNATURE

            After reasonable inquiry and to the best of my knowledge
            and belief,  I certify that the information set forth in
            this statement is true, complete and correct.


Date:  February 14, 1999


                                  THE GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP, L.P.


                                  By:    /s/ Hans L. Reich
                                         -------------------------------------
                                  Name:      Hans L. Reich
                                  Title:     Attorney-in-fact



                                  GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO.


                                  By:    /s/ Hans L. Reich
                                         -------------------------------------
                                  Name:      Hans L. Reich
                                  Title:     Attorney-in-fact



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