Aviation News

September 17, 2010

Continental and United Shareholders Overwhelmingly Approve Merger

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By: Matt Molnar
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Stockholders of both Continental Airlines and United Airlines on Friday morning overwhelmingly approved their planned merger to create the world’s largest airline, the companies announced.

Continental Airlines met with its stockholders in Houston, while United Airlines held a meeting in Chicago. “We are grateful for our stockholders’ strong vote of confidence in this merger,” said Jeff Smisek, Continental’s chairman, president and CEO.

“In approving the transaction, our stockholders recognized the value of bringing together Continental and United to create a platform for increased profitability and sustainable long-term value,” Smisek added.

At Continental Airlines, more than 98 percent of the votes cast were in favor of the proposed transaction, which was first announced on May 3.

The holding company for the new entity is called United Continental Holdings, Inc. and the name of the airline will be United Airlines. Aircraft will have the Continental livery, logo and colors with the United name, and the announcement campaign slogan will be “Let’s Fly Together.”

The new corporate and operational headquarters of the new United Airlines will be in Chicago, but it will also maintain a significant presence in Houston, which will be the combined company’s largest hub.

The new airline 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.

The new United Airlines will have 10 hubs, including hubs in the four largest cities in the United States, and will provide enhanced service to underserved small- and medium-sized communities. The carrier will continue to serve all the communities each carrier currently serves.

Together, Continental and United serve more than 144 million passengers per year as they fly to 370 destinations in 59 countries. The merger is expected to close by October 1, but it will likely take longer before passengers will notice anything different.