United and Continental to merge

May 4: US airline giants United and Continental are set to form the world’s biggest carrier by 2013 in a merger announced yesterday.
The new company will be named United Continental Holdings Incorporated but the name will remain United Airlines – aircraft will carry the Continental livery, logo and colours with the United name and the combined campaign slogan will be ‘Let´s Fly Together’. United Continental’s operational headquarters will be in Chicago but it will maintain a significant presence in Houston, Texas. Both airlines are members of the Star Alliance partnership.
In a joint statement, the two airlines said “The combination of United and Continental brings together the two most complementary networks of any US carriers, with minimal domestic and no international route overlaps. The combined company will offer enhanced service to Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East from well-placed hubs on the East Coast, West Coast, and Southern and Midwestern regions of the United States from ten hubs, including hubs in the four largest cities in the United States. Together, Continental and United serve more than 144 million passengers per year as they fly to 370 destinations in 59 countries.”
Some job losses are warned, but would come “principally from retirements, attrition and voluntary programmes”, said the statement.