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aethelbert
May 3, 2010, 04:10 PM
Although alluded to in other threads, United and Continental have officially entered the beginning of the merger process today. The United name will survive and the initial corporate image will be that of the current Continental.


press release (pdf (http://www.unitedcontinentalmerger.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/PressRelease.pdf))

HOUSTON AND CHICAGO, May 3, 2010 – Continental (NYSE: CAL) and United (NASDAQ: UAUA) today announced a definitive merger agreement, creating the world’s leading airline with superior service to customers, expanded access to an unparalleled global network serving 370 destinations around the world, enhanced long-term career prospects for employees, and a platform for improved profitability and sustainable long-term value for shareholders. The all-stock merger of equals brings together two of the world’s premier airlines, creating a combined company well positioned to succeed in an increasingly competitive global and domestic aviation industry.

Glenn Tilton, chairman, president and chief executive officer of UAL Corp., will serve as non-executive chairman of the combined company’s Board of Directors through December 31, 2012 or the second anniversary of closing, whichever is later. Jeff Smisek, Continental’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, will be chief executive officer and a member of the Board of Directors. He will also become executive chairman of the Board upon Tilton’s ceasing to be non-executive chairman.

The combined organization will draw on the talented group of leaders from both companies, and key management positions will be determined prior to the transaction’s closing. The combined company’s management team is expected to include an equitable and balanced selection of executives from each company with the intention that each company will contribute roughly equal numbers. In addition to Smisek and Tilton, the 16-member Board of Directors will include six independent directors from each of the two companies and two union directors required by United’s charter.

It should be interesting to see how their networks set up, especially relative to the similarly-sized Delta.

JNB
May 3, 2010, 06:23 PM
The decision to keep the United name on Continental's livery is an interesting one. From a "how do we want to position this" POV, it sends a strong message that it is a merger in the truest sense, a blending of both cultures instead of an "absorption" of one into the other. Early indications seem to imply that the FF programs will turn into something not quite entirely all one or the other, as well.

From the perspective of a CO Million-Miler, I'm cautiously optimistic. Very cautiously. My flight options and possible earnings potential increase tremendously with my "new" carrier of choice, but I'm worried about losing benefits from that continued loyalty by either dilution or restructuring.

dmr727
May 3, 2010, 06:30 PM
but I'm worried about losing benefits from that continued loyalty by either dilution or restructuring.

I'd be really surprised if this happens. You're an airline's bread and butter - if there's one segment of their customer base they'd be crazy to piss off, it'd be you.

JNB
May 3, 2010, 08:00 PM
I'd be really surprised if this happens. You're an airline's bread and butter - if there's one segment of their customer base they'd be crazy to piss off, it'd be you.

If Gordon was still running the show at CO, I'd believe it. I don't count on Tilton or Smisek to really give a rat's ass if they've got the market essentially cornered. The upper one-percenters internationally, sure, but I'm only a one-percenter domestically. And I don't book Y or F consistently enough.

Wait & see I guess, but I'm putting in a double order of Lube™ anyway.

aethelbert
May 3, 2010, 08:44 PM
If Gordon was still running the show at CO, I'd believe it. I don't count on Tilton or Smisek to really give a rat's ass if they've got the market essentially cornered. The upper one-percenters internationally, sure, but I'm only a one-percenter domestically. And I don't book Y or F consistently enough.
Do you have any shot at getting to 1K with United? There is indeed a large gap in preferential treatment between premier exec and 1K, but the latter has given me a better reception than on any other airline with which I've ever traveled.

Love
May 3, 2010, 09:51 PM
I almost exclusively fly AC, and I'mnot really a frequent flyer (60,000 miles) I really don't care much about the business aspect, but is there anyone here who hates the new logo? ;)

ravenvii
May 4, 2010, 01:38 AM
I almost exclusively fly AC, and I'mnot really a frequent flyer (60,000 miles) I really don't care much about the business aspect, but is there anyone here who hates the new logo? ;)

Me too, the old United logo looks clean and modern. The new logo looks outdated.

jb1280
May 4, 2010, 07:53 AM
The decision to keep the United name on Continental's livery is an interesting one. From a "how do we want to position this" POV, it sends a strong message that it is a merger in the truest sense, a blending of both cultures instead of an "absorption" of one into the other. Early indications seem to imply that the FF programs will turn into something not quite entirely all one or the other, as well.

From the perspective of a CO Million-Miler, I'm cautiously optimistic. Very cautiously.

See this "merger of equals" concept they are trying to sell just terrifies me. This just reeks of incessant corporate culture clashing, union fighting, and disillusioned frequent flyers.

JNB
May 4, 2010, 07:56 AM
Do you have any shot at getting to 1K with United? There is indeed a large gap in preferential treatment between premier exec and 1K, but the latter has given me a better reception than on any other airline with which I've ever traveled.

Oh, I'll make 1K no sweat. I've been in this job 10 years. and made Platinum every one. I think my lowest travel year (28 weeks) was still 105K. Actually, if UA keeps raw segments, it's guaranteed. That's only 25 trips for me (two legs out, two back).

See this "merger of equals" concept they are trying to sell just terrifies me. This just reeks of incessant corporate culture clashing, union fighting, and disillusioned frequent flyers.

As opposed to the love and harmony of an outright takeover? ;)

Having been through some M&A tribulations both as an observer and participant, the approach they're taking is a breath of fresh air. It's now a matter of walking the walk.

dmr727
May 4, 2010, 10:07 AM
It's now a matter of walking the walk.

I'm sure the pilots will find a way to muck up the whole situation!

Doctor Q
May 4, 2010, 10:23 AM
The planes are going to say United on the front (http://www.travelagentcentral.com/files/nodes/years/2009/18240/UnitedAirlines_B777-222_N775UA_22_5503.jpg) and have the Continental logo on the back (http://www.visitingdc.com/images/continental-airlines-address.jpg).

I guess that means they'll cut their current planes in half and weld the halves together. :rolleyes:

djellison
May 5, 2010, 08:13 AM
It'll just mean one less flight number scrolling across when you fly on either airline - they're both Star Alliance members anyway.