flightsmaster.co.uk 26-10-2011: The successful merger between Delta and Northwest re-defined the future of aviation and provided a working proof that these mergers could work. Any airline executive that fails to appreciate the benefits is probably more concerned about job protection and/or ego than profitability.
United Air Lines (UAL) is a major airline based in the United States and one of the world's largest airlines with 86,852 employees and 356 aircraft. Formerly, UAL Corporation, with corporate headquarters in Chicago. United's largest hub is Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. United also has hubs in Washington Dulles International Airport, Denver International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and Narita International Airport near Tokyo. United is a founding member of the Star Alliance, the largest airline alliance in the world, and offers connections to over 1,000 destinations in over 170 countries worldwide. The airline's regional service is United Express.
Continental Airlines (CO) is a major American airline based in Chicago, Illinois (previously based in Houston, Texas). Continental Airlines left the Sky Team alliance on October 24, 2009, and joined Star Alliance on October 27, 2009. Together with its subsidiaries, Continental has more than 2,423 daily departures, serving 130 domestic and 132 international destinations and has 42,210 employees as of December 2009. Since 1998, Continental's marketing slogan has been "Work Hard, Fly Right."
Continental and United Airlines Merger
Merging the two carriers has given both legacy carriers the opportunity to create a new and improved brand. There are two main areas that go a long way in defining an aviation brand: Service Delivery and Product Delivery, both very different entities. United and Continental are very different in both areas. How to best deliver a new product is something that's best left out of the boardroom. If management can successfully sell the merger to its staff they could potentially give the mash up of brands renewed life and lift the quality of standards throughout the entire organization.
Despite their massive route structures, the two carriers only have notable overlap on 13 routes. This overlap tends to support the belief that there will be minimal redundancies and job losses – particularly among non-flying check in roles, engineering and ground handling. Office employees and management likely have most to lose.
On May 2, 2010, the boards of directors at Continental Airlines and UAL Corp. approved a stock-swap deal that would combine them into the world's largest airline in revenue passenger miles and second largest in fleet size and destinations after Delta Air Lines. The new airline will take on the United Airlines name, Continental's logo, and be headquartered in Chicago. Once combined, United's largest hub will be in Houston. It will also be the largest carrier serving the New York City area via its hub at Newark Liberty International Airport. As of October 2011, the United hub airports that have completely rebranded are Chicago-O'Hare, San Francisco, and Denver. The Tokyo-Narita hub is currently in the first phase of rebranding leaving the Washington-Dulles hub the only airport that have not rebranded. The parent company of the new carrier will be called United Continental Holdings, Inc. The new United will be run by Continental's CEO, Jeffery Smisek, along with United Airline's CEO, Glenn Tilton, serving as non-executive Chairman of the board until his retirement two years hence.
On August 27, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice approved the US$3 billion merger. Share holders of both companies approved the deal on September 17, 2010. The transaction was completed on October 1, 2010.
After merging Continental and United Airlines into one airline, the new airline name is now United Airlines and the code is UA.
- The Continental Code will be changed to UA code.
- All booking files or PNRs that contain Continental (CO) segments will be changed to UA segments.
- All Continental (CO) flight schedules and availability displays will be changed to UA.
- All Continental (CO) fares in fare display, fare quotes and shopping functionalities will be changed to UA.
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