Friday, January 27, 2012
Continental Airlines (IATA: CO, ICAO: COA, Call sign: CONTINENTAL) was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. (the parent company of United Airlines) announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc. During the integration period, both airlines are, for a time, running separate operations under direction of a combined leadership team of the new parent company based in Chicago. The merger transaction is estimated to be worth (USD)$3.2 billion. On November 30, 2011, United Airlines was issued a single operating certificate. From a technical regulatory standpoint, Continental Airlines has ceased to exist as a separate air carrier. United and Continental are now considered one airline by the FAA, and Continental pilots now use the "United" call sign in air traffic control. Temporarily, ground operations and reservation systems will remain somewhat separate until early in 2012.
Continental had ownership interests and brand partnerships with several carriers. Continental was a minority owner of ExpressJet Airlines, which operated under the 'Continental Express' trade name but was a separately managed and public company. Chautauqua Airlines also flew under the Continental Express identity, and Cape Air, Colgan Air, CommutAir, and Gulfstream International Airlines feed Continental's flights under the Continental Connection identity. Continental did not have any ownership interests in these companies.